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Conservation Browne Clayton Monument

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Historical background

The Browne Clayton Monument was designed by Thomas Cobden in 1839 at the request of landowner Robert Browne-Clayton in the memory of his comrade, General Ralph Abercromby, who died in Egypt during the Napoleonic Wars. The monument is modelled after Pompey’s Pillar in Alexandria, built in 296 AD, and is unique for being the only internally-accessible Corinthian column in existence. In December 1994 the column was struck by lightning, dislodging many of the upper stones, pushing the walls apart and leaving a five metre-high fissure in its wake. Through the efforts of The World Monuments Fund, the Wexford Monument Trust, and Wexford County Council, a major fundraising exercise was launched, toward which the Irish Georgian Society contributed €5,000.

Brief description of project

Works were overseen by conservation architect James Howley and included utilising a crane to remove the Corinthian capital, repairing and replacing stones while securing them with wrought irons ties, and inserting timber and steel internal support structures. 

The project was completed in October 2004 and the spectacular monument is now open to visitors and serves as a major landmark in the Wexford landscape. 

Architectural description

The Browne Clayton monument is a freestanding column which dominates Carrigadaggan Hill in Co. Wexford. Made of Mount Leinster granite, it soars at ninety-four feet tall and is surmounted by a grand Corinthian capital. A staircase is entered through the stepped base and winds through the column, leading to a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.