Moel Famau tower anniversary project aims to map out its past

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A PROJECT to mark the 200th anniversary of one the region’s best-known landmarks is gathering pace.

Chris Oakley, the artist commissioned to celebrate the laying of the Jubilee Tower’s foundation stone at Moel Famau, is collecting people’s tales, recollections and impressions of the iconic site.

He is also appealing for photographs and other material which will form part of an online map, expected to go “live” next week.

Chris, from Coedpoeth, is holding a series of workshops at which the public can record their thoughts and memories.

The first sessions were held in Mold’s Pentan pub and at Loggerheads Country Park.

From September 24-27 he will be at Ruthin Craft Centre and he may also turn up in one of the car parks near Moel Famau to chat to visitors.

Chris said: “What I am aiming for is to construct an online map with a series of lasers emanating from the tower and going in all directions.

“Along each line there will be historic, cultural and other links with the tower and the year 1810.”

Earlier this month the Leader reported how 39-year-old Chris will be lighting up the summit of Moel Famau, the highest spot in the Clwydian Range, in October.

A powerful beam of light will radiate from the remains of Jubilee Tower, designed in part to replicate the original design.

The tower’s foundation stone was laid on October 25, 1810, by Lord Kenyon, on behalf of the then Prince of Wales to commemorate the golden jubilee of King George III.

Although the Egyptian-style structure was destroyed in a storm in 1852, the remaining base is a landmark for people living in North East Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside.

Among those who called in to chat to Chris was Selwyn Evans, owner of Siop y Siswrn in New Street, Mold.

Like many people he knows few details about the history of the tower but agrees it is iconic.

He said: “To me it is significant because whenever I’ve been away and I come within sight of the tower from the Cheshire direction it means that I’m home again.

“It represents the pinnacle of what is a very beautiful part of the country.”

Glyndwr University student Frankie Sorrentino, who also lives in Mold, said: “I went up there on school trips and I love taking my dog for a walk up there, but to be honest I thought the tower was much older than it is.”

Chris added: “As the anniversary approaches I believe the whole thing will gather momentum.

“I really hope people will come forward with their contributions.”

The anniversary display, including the soaring beam, will continue for about a week after October 24. For more details go to www.jubileetower200.co.uk

See full story in the Leader

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