Nigel`s Notes on Lord Hills Column

THE COLUMN IN SHREWSBURY IN HONOUR OF LORD HILL

This is the largest “Grecian Doric Column” in the world, from the base of the pedestal to the top of the statue it is 133 feet and 6 inches.

 

The Column was designed by Carline of Shrewsbury and is made of Grinshill stone. The statue is made of artificial stone was modelled by Joseph Panzetta. (1789-1830) who worked with Coade and Sealy of London.

 

Work started on the Column in 1814 when the first stone was laid in Masonic Order by the Salopian Lodge of Free Masons on 27th December. 

There are 326 stones in the structure weighing a total of 1120 Tons. Within the structure there are 172 steps with a cast iron balustrade a gift from John Straphen the builder of the column. After 18 months and 18 days the work was finished on 15 June 1816 on the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

 

A cottage in a Doric design was then built for the residence of a veteran soldier appointed to show visitors around the column. This cottage was removed in 1962.The first appointee was Colour Sergeant Thomas Davies of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

 

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ROWLAND LORDHILL OF ALMAREZ IN SPAIN AND OF HAWKESTONE AND HARDWICK GRANGE IN SHROPSHIRE. COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE BRITISH ARMY AND GOVENOR OF PLYMOUTH.

 

Rowland Hill was born 11 August 1772 the second son of Sir John Hill Bart of Hawkestone.  His mother was Mary Chambre of Petton and Rowland was one of 12 of whom survived and 6 of the brothers joined the army.

 

Rowland joined up in 1788 and his first commission was as an Ensigney in the 38th regiment where and he obtained leave to study in a military academy in Strasbourg. His duty started in Edinburgh where he was received well into society and made useful contacts that resulted in an offer of a Lieutenancy in Captain Broughtons regiment.

 

Before he was 21 years old he had purchased a Captaincy and was Aid-de-Camp to the successive Generals based in Toulon and it was here that he received many commendations for the work he was doing. This led on to the offer of a Majority in the 20th regiment which was closely followed by a step up to Lieutenant Colonel with action in Gibraltar and the Egyptian campaign. He continued with distinguished service until his return.

 

In 1809 he was appointed Colonel of the third Garrison Battalion and inherited Hardwick Grange from his uncle Sir Richard Hill. His military career flourished against the Spanish and French and he was on stand by to lead our forces against the Americans prior to a peace deal being struck.  

 

The war in Europe was over he returned home in 1812 and was elected to Parliament as MP for Shrewsbury. He received many testimonials, public dinners from a grateful country and prepared to retire to his estates in Shropshire.

However when Bonaparte set out from Elba in March 1815, Hill was ordered back to the front line to take command in Netherlands and was therefore present at the Battle of Waterloo when his horse was shot from under him and two of his brothers were injured. 

 

Throughout his very full life he was held in universal high regard by his fellow officers and all other ranks and the general public and he retired to his Estate at Hardwick and he improved rebuilt and replanted the mansion.  

 

Copyright                 NIGEL HINTON    SHREWSBURY MARCH 2005  

INSCRIPTIONS ON TABLETS

 

 NORTH SIDE

 

TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAL ROWLAND LORD HILL

BARON HILL OF ALMEREZ AND HAWKESTONE, G.C.B.

NOT MORE DISTINGUISHED FOR HIS SKILL AND

COURAGE IN THE FIELD,

DURING THE ARDUOUS CAMPAIGN IN SPAIN AND

PORTUGAL,

THE SOUTH OF FRANCE

AND THE MEMORABLE PLAINS OF WATERLOO,

THAN FOR HIS BENEVOLENTAND PATERNAL CARE

IN PROVIDING FOR THE COMFORTS AND SUPPLYING

THE NECESSITIES

OF HIS VICTORIOUS COUNTRYMEN,

AND FOR THAT HUMANITY AND GENEROSITY

WHICH THEIR VANQUISHEDFOES EXPERIENCED AND

ACKNOWLEDGED:

THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN AND COUNTY OF SALOP

HAVE ERECTED THIS COLUMN AND STATUE,

AS A MEMORIAL OF THEIR RESPECT AND GRATITUDE,

TO AN ILLUSTRIOUS CONTEMPORARY,

AND AN INCITEMENT TO EMULATION

IN THE HEROES AND PATRIOTS OF FUTURE AGES.

A.D. MDCCCXCVI

 

 

SOUTH SIDE

 

(IN LATIN BUT TRANSLATED AS)

 

To their countryman, Rowland Lord Hill

“Baron of Almarez and Hawkestone,

“His Neighbours in the County and Town of Shrewsbury have

Erected this column and statue A.D. 1816

“To his military Prowess let Portugal, Spain, The south of

France, the Netherlands, the Duke of Wellington, The

Armies of the Allies and even those of the enemy, bear

                        “Witness” 

 

EAST SIDE

 

 

#ROLICA                                                      #PYRENEES

#VIMIERA                                                    #NIVELLE

#CORUNNA                                                 #NIVE

DOURO                                                         HILLETTE

#TALAVERA                                                           #ORTHEZ

BUSACO                                                       AIRE

ARROYO DEL MOLINO                           TARBES

ALMAREZ                                                   TOULOUSE

#VITTORIA                                                  WATERLOO

 

# THESE BATTLE HONOURS RESULTED A GOLD CROSS AND CLASPS

BEING PRESENTED TO HIS LORDSHIP BY THE GOVERNMENT OF SPAIN