On a recent family outing to Virginia Water I decided to ‘stop and smell the roses’ and with great interest I discovered more about a feature I have passed with little regard on more occasions that I care to admit.
Beside one of the smaller lakes, known as the Obelisk Pond, not far from the main entrance stands an Obelisk memorial to the Duke of Cumberland.
|The Obelisk memorial.|
William, the Duke of Cumberland is generally best known for his role in putting down the forces of Charles Edward Stuart ‘The Young Pretender’ during the Jacobite Rebellion at the battle of Culloden in 1746, he was appointed Ranger of Windsor Great Park in the same year.
The obelisk is inscribed:
"THIS OBELISK RAISED BY COMMAND OF KING GEORGE THE SECOND COMMEMORATES THE SERVICES OF HIS SON WILLIAM DUKE OF CUMBERLAND THE SUCCESS OF HIS ARMS AND THE GRATITUDE OF HIS FATHER THIS TABLET WAS INSCRIBED BY HIS MAJESTY KING WILLIAM THE FOURTH".
|Inscription on the east tablet.|
The Duke’s actions at the battle of Culloden, in which the forces of Stuart where decimated, put an almost instant end to the JacobiteUprising and earned him an honorary degree from he University of Glasgow. His actions in the ‘Pacification’ of the Jacobite areas of the Highlands, in which rebels and sympathisers, including non-combatants, were murdered, villages burned and livestock confiscated also earned him the title ‘Butcher Cumberland’.
|The Duke of Cumblerland (1758) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c/o Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.|
The base tablet facing north is carved with a laurel wreath surmounted by the Royal crest inscribed 'W.A. Born April 15th 1721 Died October 31st 1765'. A garter symbol is carved in the base on sides facing south and west. Above the north tablet the obelisk was originally inscribed “Culloden” however this was erased following QueenFollowing the events of Culloden the Duke’s military career was unsuccessful and after the Convention of Klosterzeven in 1757, after which he never held an active command, he turned his attention to more ‘noble’ pursuits such as politics and horse racing.
Victoria's instruction and replaced with " ". CUMBERLAND
|Garter on the south and west sides.|
|I almost missed the significance of the planting at the base of the obelisk.|