The Hoad Monument
The Hoad Monument

What's in a name? Sometimes, not a lot! The Hoad Monument, as it is popularly known, ought more properly to be called the Sir John Barrow Monument. This highly visible memorial - which looks like a huge lighthouse - stands on the summit of Hoad Hill, overlooking the town of Ulverston, and is easily seen for miles around.

The monument was erected in 1850 in memory of Sir John Barrow, a native of Ulverston. Barrow was born in Dragley Beck in 1764, the child of a journeyman tanner. From such humble beginning Barrow rose through the ranks of the navy to become second secretary of the Admiralty. Barrow is best known for his promotion of voyages of exploration and scientific discovery. He supported attempts to find a northwest passage to the Orient, and also sent expeditions to West Africa. He was one of the founders of the Royal Geographic Society in 1830, and a prolific writer of works covering biographies of figures as diverse as John Macauley and Peter the Great of Russia. He also wrote a history of Arctic exploration.

Barrow died in 1848, and is buried in London. Ulverston wanted a monument to their most famous son, and the result is the striking structure atop Hoad Hill.

The likeness to a lighthouse is intentional; the monument was built to look like the Eddystone Lighthouse. There is a staircase of 112 steps up the inside of the monument, leading to lantern chamber, giving wonderful views over Morecambe Bay. The total height of the monument is exactly 100 feet, though it looks much higher due to the height of Hoad Hill.

The total cost of the monument was £1250, most of it raised by public subscription. The architect of record was Andrew Trimen, and it was built using local labour.

The stairs up the monument have had to be closed due to safety concerns, but as of this writing, plans are underway to refurbish the monument and open the stairs to visitors once more. You can easily view the monument from outside owever - indeed, it is hard not to view it, so easily can it be seen for miles around the town!

About Hoad Monument
Address: Ulverston, Lake District, Cumbria, England, LA12 7LD
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: The monument is easily visible from Ulverston. Park near the church and take a footpath to the top of Hoad Hill for superb views.
Website: Hoad Monument
Location map
OS: SD294790
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express

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