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Hardy's Monument, Dorchester
(3.9/5 based on 110+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We feel we are so lucky living in this part of the country with so much to do and see, but am embarrassed to say we have not seen a fraction of them. Anyway if you want to view multiple counties, this...  more »
  • WOW! We visited on a clear day and were able to go up the tower too. The view was incredible, you can see across 5 counties apparently and we could certainly see from Devon to the Isle of Wight along ...  more »
  • 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...  more »
Google
  • East access to car park with our motorhome. Plenty of parking space. Only £1 per hour (pay at meter). Really great retro caravan with teas and cakes and things. Nice area to walk the dog. £2 for entry to the monument, Dont believe the other review about difficulty parking. No petty official and no probs. September 2016
  • Great views on a good day. 121 steps that are spiral and steep. Good size carpark with caravan selling tea and ice cream!
  • Enjoy some of the greatest views in Dorset . Great walks, rich in archaeology and there's a stop for tea and cake and ice cream.
  • 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
  • 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.