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Hardy's Monument, Dorchester

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Monument Tourist Spot
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 Traveler Rating
129 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This tall gem , a complete visit to Dorset must include this monument to Admiral Hardy one of Dorsets famous son's not to be confused with novelist Thomas , easy parking , a 120 step climb to the top ...  more »
  • They say you can see five counties from here on a clear day. It was a bit misty when we visited but the view was spectacular nonetheless. The top of the monument is 259 metres above sea level -- (I kn...  more »
  • I just love this place, it is totally gorgeous whenever you go there. Also if the tea lady is there even better!  more »
Google
  • The monument can be seen from far and inevitably you are drawn to it. Unfortunately the car park was not open and there were few walks that looked promising. Great views though.
  • Great views on a good day. 121 steps that are spiral and steep. Good size carpark with caravan selling tea and ice cream!
  • 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
  • Recently renovated car park and the Tower is now open to climb and admire views over Dorset. However, costly if not a National Trust member. , £1 phr parking and £2 to climb tower.
  • On a clear day it is possible to see as far as the Isle of Wight but often sea mist hinders the view from the Monument.. I sometimes go up there late at night because it is free from light pollution there and it is possible to see the Milky Way, meteor showers and sometimes the International Space Station.

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43 days in Dorchester & Manchester BY A USER FROM EGYPT September, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Dorset BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, kids, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Dorchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dorchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Dorchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Dorchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dorchester BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Dorchester BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND May, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
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