The Hoad Monument sometimes known as the John Barrow monument or referred to as the “pepper pot” stands approximately 100 ft high on top of the 436 ft Hoad Hill and dominates the landscape, while overlooking the town of Ulverston. The structure was built in 1850 in honour of Sir John Barrow (1764-1848) who was born in Dragley Beck within the market town of Ulverston. Sir John Barrow was a founder member of the Royal Geographic Society and was an important figure in British Naval History; who became the Second Secretary to the Admiralty. Sir John has both the Barrow Point in northern Alaska and the Barrow Straight in Canada named after him.
The monument was built with funds through public subscription by architect Andrew Trimen whose design was based on Smeatons Eddystone Lighthouse that stands on the Hoe at Plymouth. Built in local limestone quarried at Birkrigg Common the Hoad Hill has outstanding views of the Lake District and Morecambe bay. The monument has bene restored to stop the ingress of water and is open to the public at selected times. Inside the tower there are 112 stone steps forming a spiral staircase to the panoramic views from the top.
Today the monument is a grade 2* (star) listed building and is owned by the Sir John Barrow Trust which is part of Ulverston Town Council.
A recent Heritage Lottery fund of £891,000 towards the projected total cost of £1,120,000 was awarded and the monument restoration work is now complete.
Sunday was time to visit the recently refurbished Hoad and I was not dissapointed, what a fantastic job they have made of it. The historic building is manned by volunteers and is free, but a donation is gladly appreciated. Due to the narrow and I mean narrow staircase its a few up and a few folk down to each of the levels (rest points) up to the top. The climb up to the top rewards you with great views (weather permitting) of the local country side. Outside the hoad they have now marked view points on etched maps so you know what you are looking at. The back path down is a steady less steep option than the front way up and there is a stone path that vehicles can use for the disabled or aged person. I really hope only genuine people use the car option. After my strenuous climb it was a walk back down into the town of Ulverston for a well deserved pint or two before the train back home, what a great way to have spent a Sunday afternoon.
For further details on the excellent work of the trust visit the web site, click here.
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