I’ve said before that you can find a Georgian story, and usually even a Napoleonic war story, everywhere if you look for it – it’s a bit like a treasure hunt. In Kendal, I wanted to go and have a look at a monument a bit outside the town – one which I’ve described elsewhere as a slightly comedy monument, as it was erected to celebrate Napoleon’s confinement on Elba, but before the plaque could be added he had escaped and was off again!
Sadly you can’t get right up to it to read the plaque which was finally added a hundred years later, but there’s a picture of it in the link above – apparently the original inscription was to have been:
In honour of William Pitt, the pilot that weathered the storm Elba
The Elba monument was apparently a response to an earlier Whig monument on Castle Howe in the middle of the town, erected in 1788 to celebrate the centenary of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ – if they can have an obelisk why can’t we style – so I thought I better go and have a look at it as well.
Castle Howe itself is the motte – or mound – of the first castle in Kendal, so much older than the monument, and is just up behind the main street, on the other side of the river from the later castle whose ruins are still visible.