Long story short, I visited HMS Victory when I was about 7/8 years old, and that was it for me and ships. I grew up watching (and being in love with) Hornblower and from that point I was hooked on the Royal Navy and its history.
When I was 23 I was the youngest contestant on Mastermind, under current host John Humphries. My topic?
The Life and Career of Lord Nelson.
If there is a book on Nelson, I own it. If there was a documentary on Nelson, I've seen it. So I want to convey my love and passion for this subject on my blog as often as I can.
This evening after work I decided to go for a drive to Portsdown Hill, about 2 miles north of Portsmouth. It looks down over the harbour and some very shiny Type 45 Destroyers currently! Not to mention Horatio Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, HMS Victory.
The view was just superb.
History of the Monument
However, The Nelson Monument is actually a grand 28.3m high and not 30m (I was close enough). Unfortunately much of the monument was replaced, but the bust of Nelson at the top is the original.
The Royal Navy paid for the monument as the initial funding had disappeared, but actually it makes it a much more interesting story. Captain Thomas Fremantle raised funding from those men who served with Nelson at Trafalgar and from all accounts they were more than willing to contribute.
A perfect tribute.
The monument is still used as a fixing point for yachties and warships alike.
Fort Nelson (about 50m down the road) is a museum and part of the Royal Armouries, with free entry, so that will be a visit for another day!