Some of Shropshire’s top visitor attractions are joining forces with Shropshire Council to highlight the county’s links with The Battle of Waterloo. Together, they aim to encourage visitors and local residents to explore places associated with General Lord Hill, one of the Duke of Wellington’s most trusted generals at the Battle.
The Battle of Waterloo took place in what is now Belgium on 18 June 1815 and turned the course of history, bringing to an end a period of 23 years of warfare.
An online visitor trail and guide to Shropshire’s links with Lord Hill and The Battle of Waterloo with a list of events will be launched in late March 2015 on Shropshire Council’s website – shropshire.gov.uk.
Lord Hill came from a long line of Shropshire landowners and lived at Hardwicke Grange near Hadnall, to the north of Shrewsbury. His military career was very distinguished and he achieved the rank of Commander-in-Chief during Wellington’s time as Prime Minister.
His most famous monument is the Column outside Shirehall at the top of Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury.
Several notable portraits of him were painted, and some of these will be able to be seen at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shropshire Regimental Museum, St Chad’s Church, and Weston Park near Shifnal, at various times over the next few months leading up to the actual anniversary.
Hawkstone Park and Follies were created by Hill’s uncle, and the golf course and landscape continue to attract visitors to Shropshire to this day.
The Shropshire Regimental Museum at Shrewsbury Castle has within its collections a lock of Napoleon’s hair, Lord Hill’s seal and campaign cutlery, and a portrait painted by his sister.
Hawkstone Hall was the family seat of Hill’s uncle Sir Richard Hill and was the location for reunions often attended by The Duke of Wellington.
On his death in 1842, Lord Hill was laid to rest below the tower in his local church at Hadnall and a fine memorial was erected to him close to the pulpit.
Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member for visitor economy, revealed that during 2015 there will be a number of special events to mark the 200th anniversary of Waterloo. She said:
“These will include a lecture on the involvement of Shropshire regiments in the campaign, a concert of contemporary music in the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle, tours to the top of Lord Hill’s Column, a portrait exhibition at Weston Park and open days at Hawkstone Hall.”
Meanwhile, the partners would be delighted to hear from anyone with information about further links between Shropshire, Lord Hill and The Battle of Waterloo. Please get in touch with Tim King at Shrewsbury Museum & Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1LH. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The online guide to Shropshire’s links with Lord Hill and The Battle of Waterloo will be launched in late March at shropshire.gov.uk.
Details of the national commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo can be found at www.waterloo200.org.