One of the country’s earliest monuments to Nelson returns to its former glory

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A ten month careful restoration has seen a once decayed stone arch standing tall once again in memory of Admiral Lord Nelson.

Nelson Gate was built by the Duncombe family in 1806, just a year after the Admiral’s death to commemorate his life and his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Thought to be one of the earliest monuments in the country dedicated the naval hero, the tall stone gate stands by the side of the A170 on the outskirts of Helmsley.

It was originally one of two entrances to Duncombe Park, and stands in the form of a triumphal arch with Tuscan three -quarter columns and other features which are characteristic of the neoclassical period.

However its age had long since taken its toll, and a survey of the gate last year revealed parts of the stonework were extensively decayed - a common problem with structures made from calcareous sandstone.

The level of deterioration had been made worse by the use of iron cramps which had rusted, split and disintergrated the stone.

Expert advice suggested that evenif conserved, the original stonework of the gate would continue to decay, so it was decided to replace the stone.

Contractors Ebor Stone started work in July 2011 and the restoration was completed at the end of April this year.

Jake Duncombe, owner of Nelson Gate, said: “I’m most grateful to the organisations whose generous funding enable restoration work to go ahead.

“Duncombe Park’s programme of restoration was initiated by mylate father after the family moved back to the house in the late 1980s. The results of the work at Nelson Gate have revitalised that programme, and my grate hope is to be able to move forward with the restoration of other structures ‘at risk’ so visitors to Duncombe Park may carry on enjoying these beautiful buildings.”

The restoration of Nelson Gate was overseen by conservation architect Peter Gaze Pace, and was made possible with funding from the Country Houses Foundation, the War Memorial Trust, Yorkshire Gardens Trust and the North York Moors National Park Authority.