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The 140 feet (43 m) Burton Pynsent Monument on Troy Hill at Burton Pynsent, within the parish of Curry Rivel, Somerset, England, was built in 1767 and has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[1]

Burton Pynsent Monument
Burton Pynsent Monument.jpg
LocationCurry Rivel, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°01′18″N 2°53′21″W / 51.02167°N 2.88917°W / 51.02167; -2.88917Coordinates: 51°01′18″N 2°53′21″W / 51.02167°N 2.88917°W / 51.02167; -2.88917
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated17 April 1959[1]
Reference no.431251
Burton Pynsent Monument is located in Somerset
Burton Pynsent Monument
Location of Burton Pynsent Monument in Somerset

Alternative names for the tower, which stands on Troy Hill, a spur of high ground about 700 m north-east of Burton Pynsent House, include the Curry Rivel Column, Pynsent Column, Pynsent Steeple or Cider Monument.[2]

The monument, which is clad in Portland Stone, was designed by Capability Brown and built by Philip Pear,[3] at a cost of £2,000,[4] for William Pitt as a monument to Sir William Pynsent,[5] of the Pynsent Baronets.

Pynsent was grateful to Pitt for opposing a ten shilling tax on a hogshead of cider (1763 Cider Bill), which would have affected his business, so on his death he left his entire estate to Pitt.[6][7] Pitt then used some of the income from the estate (£3000 per annum) to erect the monument to his benefactor.

In June 1948 it was reported that a heifer climbed the 172 steps to the top of the monument, but was later returned safely to her hillside pasture.[8]

The tower was restored in the 1990s by the John Paul Getty Trust and English Heritage.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Burton Pynsent Monument". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  2. ^ a b Holt, Jonathan. Somerset Follies. Akeman Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-9546138-7-7.
  3. ^ "Burton Pynsent Monument". Britain Express. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Burton Pynsent". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Curry Rivel Column (Burton Pynsent)". Folly Towers. Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  6. ^ Byford, Enid (1987). Somerset Curiosities. Dovecote Press. p. 34. ISBN 0946159483.
  7. ^ A History of the Right Honorable William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, p. 50, at Google Books
  8. ^ Milwaukee Journal 15 June 1948