RESTORATION work at the Wellington Monument reached a peal point this week - with the removal of the highest stone on the structure.

On Tuesday (March 17), the National Trust’s restoration work took a major step forward as the monument's crowning stone - known as the ‘Pyramidion’ - was removed.

It is the pinnacle of the tallest three-sided obelisk in the world, at a height of 175 feet.

Mark Holland, site manager from Sally Strachey Conservation, completed a lifting-plan in advance of the task.

"We began by working the bed joints loose in advance, once the crane was on site, we used three slings to lift the stone and reposition it onto a sturdy pallet," he said.

"With a safety net in place, this was then lifted to the ground by the crane using flying forks."

Wellington Monument has had a turbulent past, but the last three months have been a turning point in the monument’s history.

The project to repair the 200-year-old monument took a giant step forward with the commencement of the conservation work last autumn with the erection of the scaffolding.

Helen Sharp, National Trust’s project manager said: "We would like to thank the continued support of Viridor Credits, who granted the money to conserve the crowning stone of the monument.

"We were awarded with £77,500 towards the pyramidion and a further £22,500 towards the blade stones on the upper third."

Alison Salvador, general manager of Viridor Credits, said: "It was almost two years ago that the National Trust first shared their vision for restoring the iconic Wellington Monument.

"The board were so impressed, not only by the ambitious plan to restore the historic monument but the continued and ongoing consultation with the local community.

"Their pledge that the monument will be accessible to everyone and assurance that visitors will once again be able to climb to the top of the monument to appreciate the incredible views made it something that we all wanted to be part of and support."

The Pyramidion stone weighs 400kg and during its renovation will be on the ground near the visitor welcome cabin. This stone houses the weight, which helps to stabilise the structure.

The project to repair the monument will cost £3.45m, with funding received from many major donors, while the community has also contributed, raising a total of £2.95m.

The National Trust are still fundraising for the repair of the monument with just under £500k left to raise.

Donations towards the appeal can be made at