Wychbury Obelisk

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The Hagley Obelisk on Wychbury Hill

The Hagley Obelisk (also known as the Wychbury Obelisk and locally as Wychbury Monument) stands close to the summit of Wychbury Hill in Hagley, Worcestershire, and is only about 150 metres from the border of the West Midlands.[1] [2] Visible for miles around, and accessible from public footpaths, it was for a while connected with a murder discovered on the nearby Lyttelton estate, known to be a ritualistic sacrifice.

History[edit]

The obelisk is a Grade II* listed building.[3] It is 84 feet (26 m) high,[4][5] and can be seen for many miles around,[3] as far as away as Shropshire,[4] and the hill if not the monument on its summit from the Malverns. It was commissioned as a family memorial and completed in 1758 at the same time as Hagley Park was being redeveloped in the fashionable neoclassical style.[6]

There was much debate for decades over whether the eventually disintegrating structure should be demolished for safety reasons, but the consensus was that time and weather should be allowed to do the job until its restoration could be funded. It was formerly on the English Heritage list of the most endangered listed buildings until in 2010 conservation work was begun to repair it with funding aid from Natural England's Higher Level Stewardship scheme and Viscount Cobham. This involved it being largely deconstructed and rebuilt. By 2011 the obelisk had been fully restored.[4][5][7]

Since at least the 1970s the obelisk has been sporadically defaced with graffiti asking "Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?", a reference to an unsolved World War II-era mystery in which the decomposed body of a woman was found in a nearby wood. The graffiti was last updated in 1999.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Lat N 52:25:58 W2:07:04". Streetmap EU Ltd. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  2. ^ Chambers 1817, p. 199.
  3. ^ a b "2/133 Obelisk about ¾ mile north of Hagley Hall 23.4.52 1 (Formerly listed with item 2/134)". English Heritage.
  4. ^ a b c "Hagley high society host ceremony to cap it all". Stourbridge News. 11 October 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Natural England". naturalengland.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2011-02-02.
  6. ^ Pagett,1994
  7. ^ "Hagley Obelisk celebrations to go with a bang". Stourbridge News. 9 November 2010.
  8. ^ Jamie Frater, Epic Book of Mind-Boggling Top 10 Lists, p.24

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°25′58″N 2°07′03″W / 52.43278°N 2.11750°W / 52.43278; -2.11750