The Hardy monument was erected by public subscription in 1844 in order to honour Vice-Admiral Hardy, Flag Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalger. Not to be confused with Thomas Hardy, another one of Dorset's famous sons, Vice-Admiral Hardy is famous mainly for kissing Nelson on his deathbed. Whether Nelson's last words were "Kiss me Hardy" or "Kismet Hardy" (kismet meaning fate) will never be known.
The Hardy Monument is a twenty-two metre (70 feet) single column built of local Portland stone and perched on the summit of Blackdown Hill, above the village of Portesham. The monument was restored in 1900 by Hardy's descendents and given to the National Trust in 1938.
It is usually open at weekends in Summer when visitors can climb the monument using steps inside. On a fine day views from the top stretch fifty miles, all the way to the famous Needles on the western end of the Isle of Wight.