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Hardy's Monument, Dorchester

Categories: Monuments, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
3.8/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web
The Hardy Monument is a 72ft high monument erected in 1844 by public subscription in memory of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, a commander at the Battle of Trafalgar (not to be confused with the author Thomas Hardy, who also has local connections). Admiral Hardy lived in Portesham and his family owned the Portesham estate which stretched from the middle of Portesham to Black Down. The site for the monument was chosen because the Hardy family wanted a monument which could be used as a landmark for shipping. The monument has been shown on navigational charts since 1846 and is visible from a distance of 100 kilometres.The monument is situated on Black Down, a hill overlooking the English Channel near Portesham in Dorset, England. It was restored in 1900 by his descendants and bought in 1938 by the National Trust for the sum of £15.00.The monument was designed to look like a spyglass, as Admiral Hardy would have used on board ship and not as many people think - a factory chimney. Its eight corners are aligned with the compass points. Viewed from the ground the corner to the right of the lightning conductor points due south. The bench mark on the northwest face denotes the height of Black Down at 780 feet (242 metres).From the top of the monument at a height of 850 feet above sea level it is possible to see on a clear day: Start Point, Devon, St. Catherine's Point on the Isle of Wight both of which are 90 kilometres distant and to the North can be seen Pen Hill in the Mendip Hills which is 65 kilometres away.
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  • Owned by The National Trust it is a good idea before you go to find if it is in fact open. It is quite a climb if you go to the top of the "tower" and it is great fun if when going up, you met someone...  read more »
  • This is a lovely place to visit but be prepared to walk through the woods/countryside to meet the pony's as well in order to enjoy the full experience so sensible walking shoes and appropriate clothes...  read more »
  • Lovely views from the monument across the countryside and worth a quick look if you are in the area, nice spot for a picnic. 
  • It is quite high up here and the approach roads are single track in the main, but worth the effort. There is a 360° view from here. Out to sea from Weymouth in the east to Lyme Regis and beyond in the west.
  • Great location with amazing views. Free car park and free entry to the Tower for National Trust members. £2 per person for non NT members. Make sure you check tower opening times of you want to climb the 150 steps to the top of the monument.
  • Such a huge expanse of countryside and coast to see. Climb to the top of the tower when it's open for even better views
  • Worth a stop just for the view from the hilltop. The monument is open at odd hours so check ahead if you want to climb it.
  • Great place , wife loved it ,
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