The Sir John Barrow Monument
The monument was built in 1850 by public subscription as a memorial for Sir John Barrow. It can be seen from many miles and has become a symbol for the town. It stands on the 450 ft high summit of Hoad Hill overlooking Ulverston and Morecambe Bay. It is a Grade II * listed building and is sometimes known locally as Hoad Monument.
Sited approximately one mile from Morecambe Bay, the Sir John Barrow Monument is 100ft tall. It is built of limestone quarried from nearby Birkrigg Common. It was modelled on the earlier Eddystone Lighthouse built in 1759 by John Smeaton. The monument has an internal spiral staircase of 112 narrow steps leading to the lantern chamber, which has never had a functional light. Sir John Barrow’s two sons, Sir George Barrow and John Barrow, laid the foundation stone of the monument on 15 May 1850. This was undoubtedly a memorable day in Ulverston’s history, when 8,000 citizens climbed Hoad Hill for the ceremony. The monument was completed on 9 January 1851.
The original plans show a room that was constructed in the basement of the Monument to house the lighthouse keeper. The official position of lighthouse keeper has been continuously maintained although the keeper is no longer in residence. The keeper looks after the monument and opens it to the public on behalf of the Sir John Barrow Trustees.
In 2003 the Monument was in need of major repair, mainly due to ingress of water and had to be closed to the public. On March 2008, Ulverston Town Council (the owner of the Monument) was successful in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to repair the Monument. The total project cost was £1,120,000. The grant secured from HLF was £891,000. The remainder of the funding was raised from Ulverston Market Town Initiative, the Town Lands Trust, Cumbria County Council, South Lakeland District Council and the community at large, through the fund raising efforts of the Friends of Sir John Barrow Monument. A further £150,000 was granted by English Heritage to enhance the base of the Monument. Work on the restoration began in January 2009. The works included repair and conservation to the whole of the Monument, from the basement to the lantern chamber, improvement to lower level footpaths, new signage , marketing, webcams and footfall counters. Sir John Barrow’s life and adventures, along with the history of the Monument are detailed inside on specially designed panels. The Monument was officially re-opened on 22nd August 2010 by Sir Anthony Barrow, the 7th Baronet of Ulverston.
The Friends of the Sir John Barrow Monument manage this website and details of how to get involved with the group and its activities can be found on the site, together with progress on development on the monument project.