A major £500,000 project to construct a new statue of Lord Hill could become a reality after masonry fell off the current structure.

The scheme was revealed by the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column and could see the new model in place within three years.

Shropshire Council owns Lord Hill’s Column, which sits outside Shirehall in Shrewsbury.

But it is due to hold talks with the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column about launching a fundraising appeal to ensure a new statue can go on top of the plinth in time for 2022 – the 250th anniversary of Lord Hill’s birth.

Reverend Richard Hayes, chairman of the friends group, said it was one of the most important structures in the whole of Shropshire and said he hoped people would back the scheme.

He said the statue would have to be made from Coade stone – the original material – and he hoped the council would support his plans.

Speaking at the top of the column, the first time it had been climbed in 2019, he said: “This is one of the most historically important structures in the county.

“It has not been without its problems however. It had a closure a few years ago and work was carried out and again earlier this year it was cordoned off after masonry fell off the statue itself.

“Now what the Friends want to do – and we really do hope the council give us its full support – is raise £500,000 to build a new Lord Hill statue.

“Rather than spending £10,000 or £20,000 a time when something falls off it, now is the right time to bring the current Lord Hill down and replace him with a brand new like-for-like model made from Coade stone.

“If we do get the go ahead then we will be holding a major fundraising drive to get the money we need.”

Rev Hayes said Lord Rowland Hill was born near Hawkstone in 1772. He became Shrewsbury’s most distinguished soldier.

At the battle of Waterloo he fought alongside the Duke of Wellington commanding the first company.

While the battle was taking place the column and statue was being put together back home in Shrewsbury and was completed at the end of the war.

“It is captivating to think that this was going on in Shrewsbury while the war was waging elsewhere,” said Rev Hayes.

“It is magnificent to have it here in Shrewsbury and it would be marvellous to raise half a million and get the work done by 2022 to mark the 250th anniversary of Lord Hill’s birthday.

Climbing the 172 spiral steps inside the column takes you 133ft 6in above Shropshire, with the Lord Hill statue standing 17ft above the plinth.