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Gallery 1 > North-East of England > Penshaw Monument At Night, Sunderland

Penshaw Monument is officially The Earl of Durham's Monument, A folly built in 1844 on Penshaw Hill between the districts of Washington and Houghton-le-Spring, within the City of Sunderland, North East England. It is dedicated to John Lambton (1792–1840), 1st Earl of Durham and the first Governor of the Province of Canada. The 136-metre (446 ft) hill on which the monument stands was presented by Charles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry. The monument dominates the local landscape as a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. It is floodlit at night.

 

The foundation stone was laid by Thomas Dundas, 2nd Earl of Zetland (the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England) on 28 August 1844, four years after the death of John Lambton.

 

On Easter Monday 1926 a 15-year-old boy, Temperley Arthur Scott, fell to his death from the top of Penshaw Monument. The boy was with three friends and 20 other people when the accident happened. They had reached the roof via the spiral staircase in one of the pillars. Witnesses said that the boys went round the roof walkway twice before deciding to make a third circuit. However, Scott fell trying to avoid the other visitors by passing around an open end where there was no protecting wall. Afterwards the spiral staircase to the roof was closed and remained so until a special opening on 29 August 2011, when the public were granted access to the spiral staircase and views from the top of the monument. This was an initial test to see if it was popular enough to open again for future one-off days. The National Trust did not take bookings, the public simply turned up on the day. It was so popular (more than 2,000 people) that not all those who turned up were able to go to the top of the monument.