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Browne Clayton Monument

The Browne - Clayton Monument is a 94ft 4in Corinthian Column on a square pedestal base on Carrigadaggan Hill, Carrigbyrne, Co. Wexford, just off the N.25 route between Wexford and New Ross.

History: It is the only  internally accessible Corinthian column in existence and is thus a hugely important and unique international architectural landmark.

It was built of Mount Leinster granite and contains an internal staircase leading to the Capitol, from which an impressive view of the surrounding country-side can be obtained.

Its construction commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1841 and is a replica of what is known as  Pompeys Column in Alexandria, Egypt, which is some 10 feet lower in height.

It was built by General Robert Browne - Clayton of  Carrigbyrne in commemoration of Sir Ralph Abercrombie who was his commanding officer with whom he fought and was victorious in the Egyptian battles in 1801 against Napoleon. It was at these battles that Abercrombie was mortally wounded.

These events have given the column international historical significance and  created huge international interest in the restoration project.

The Monument was designed by the renowned architect,  Thomas Cobden,  who is most famous for the design of the gothic Cathedral in Carlow Town as well as the Ducketts Grove near Tullow, Co. Carlow.

It is also interesting to note  also that  Robert Browne-Clayton was the third son of Robert Browne of  Browne’s Hill, just outside Carlow town.

Lightning Strike: On 29th December 1994 the Column was struck by lightning and considerable damage was caused to the Capitol and the top 1/3 of the Column, in which a large gaping hole was made. The internal stairway was blocked by falling rock and debris.

Wexford Monument Trust Ltd:  This Trust was formed  as a limited company in December, 2001, with the objectives of acquiring, restoring and repairing the Browne-Clayton Monument.

The Trust consists of representatives from Wexford County Council,  the World Monument Fund in Britain, and An Taisce.

Restoration:  The restoration commenced with the drawing up of a conservation report in July 2002. This  recommended that the repairs be done in two phases. The emergency phase 1 was completed in November, 2002. It  consisted of making  a temporary access route to the column, strengthening of the column with supporting scaffolding and the removal of the capitol and almost one third of the shaft.

Phase 2,  the completion phase, commenced in July 2003.  This consisted of stone masonry  work  to either replace or  repair damaged stone  and then the re-assembly of the shaft and capitol and was completed in November, 2003.

Financial Support: The restoration has been successful and  could not have been done without the  generous funding from Wexford County Council, The World Monument Fund in Britain, The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Heritage Council, An Taisce and private donors. 

Access: As part of the restoration direct access along a dedicated pathway from the public road was acquired. The lands on which the Monument is situated are also in the ownership of the Trust. This involved the purchase of the land on which the Monument is situated as well as a pathway leading from the public road to this land.

Interesting Facts:

·         Total No. of  Sections: 78.

·         No. of Sections of the Capitol: 9.

·         Weight of Repaired Capitol: 32    tonnes.

·         Weight of each shaft section (ashlar +rubble): 3.5  tonnes.

For further information contact:

Company Secretary,
Wexford Monument Trust Ltd.,
County Hall,
Wexford

noel.stacey@wexfordcoco.ie

Phone  053  91 76472
Fax.     053  91 24852


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