The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

The Nelson Monument

Author - Keith Brown

In the last News File, Crispin Paine wrote about a glass bottle with an image of the Nelson Monument which stands on Portsdown Hill overlooking Portsmouth. Member Keith Brown lives very near here and has sent in photos of the monument - clearly showing the Aksum stele influence. The modern plaque notes that the monument was built in 1806-7 and that it is 28.3 metres high. The money to pay for the monument was partly raised by donations of two days' pay by all those who served at Trafalgar. Captain Thomas Fremantle, who brought the traveller Henry Salt back from Ethiopia, managed the fund. The architect of the monument was John Groves who was inspired by the discoveries made in Aksum by the British Ethiopian Expedition (1805-7). The plaque notes that the monument itself had to be rebuilt in 1899, although the bust of Nelson at the summit is original. A commemorative ceremony is held each year on 21 October to mark Trafalgar day.

Nelson Monument, Portsdown Hill, PortsmouthTop of the Nelson Monument, Portsmouth
Nelson Monument, Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth
Photo © Keith Brown
Top of the Nelson Monument, Portsmouth
Photo © Keith Brown

First Published in News File Summer 2012

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