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Monument restored for anniversary of New Forest's forgotten naval hero

Issued 12 January 2015

gaslamp A gas lamp monument that commemorates a local naval hero who was a former MP and Mayor of Lymington has been given a facelift thanks to funding from New Forest District Council.

Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale had a glittering naval career, rising through the ranks to become a Lord of the Admiralty and subsequently Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet. He was also Mayor and MP for Lymington over many years. 2015 marks the 250th anniversary of his birth, and the Burrard Neale 250 project, which is led by the Lymington Society on behalf of Lymington and Pennington Town Council, aims to raise awareness of this forgotten hero and restore his neglected monuments.

The Gas Lamp Monument, adjacent to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club - commemorates the fact that Sir Harry paid for the first gas street lighting in the town, in 1832. The monument represents a 'Thank you' from the town to Sir Harry and his brother George Burrard, who gave the original iron columns and lamps respectively.

The restoration of the Listed monument is an important part of the Burrard Neale 250 project and was carried out by local specialists JW (UK) Ltd, based in Millbrook. Their work has included the restoration of columns and lighting at Buckingham Palace, HMS Victory and Royal Parks - Constitution Hill.

Leader of New Forest District Council, Councillor Barry Rickman, said: "It is important that the people who shaped our history and gave so much to the local community are never forgotten. Sir Harry was a well-respected figure and I'm pleased that the council has been able to support the Burrard Neale 250project by restoring this important monument to its former glory."

The Gas Lamp Monument initially stood in the town centre opposite the old Town Hall. When that was demolished in 1858, the monument was transferred to a position outside St. Thomas' Church.  When the town's lighting ceased to be gas-powered, the monument had a further move to its current position.

 

Updated: 3 Mar 2015
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