A number of the Waterloo Association visited Ireland in August to see the many sites of the 1798 Rebellion which few people have heard of. It so nearly toppled the British Empire and yet little is known. More about this later as the subject fits well into the Age of Revolution.
But let us start with the Wellington Monument in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, the recent site of the Pope’s visit. The obelisk was designed by the architect Sir Robert Smirke and the foundation stone was laid in 1817. In 1820 it ran out of construction funds and therefore remained unfinished until 18 June 1861 when it was opened to the public. There were also plans for a statue of Wellesley on horseback but the shortage of funds ruled that out. It is 203 feet high and was originally hollow but no longer.
The bronze panels on the 4 sides show scenes from Wellington’s campaigns in India, Spain and Belgium.