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Hardy Monument

27 February 2018

High on the summit of Blackdown Hill, above the village of Portesham, sits the Hardy Monument.

Visitors are forgiven if they assume that the monument is in memory of writer Thomas Hardy, who wrote so many of his books in his native Dorchester. It is in fact a tribute to Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Flag Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, who lived in Portesham until 1781 when he joined the Navy.

The huge monument, built of local Portland Stone, was erected in 1844 and on a fine day it is possible to see the Needles of the Isle of Wight, some 50 miles distant. The site of the monument commands some breathtaking views over Dorset. Standing 72ft high the monument can be seen from many miles away, a single column standing tall on the horizon. 

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