Petworth memorial is removed after being hit by a lorry

The remains of the plinth that was hit by a lorry last week
The remains of the plinth that was hit by a lorry last week
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A lorry has hit a plinth holding a memorial lamp post in Petworth.

The 5ft plinth, named Barry’s Obelisk, is owned by the Leconfield Estate, and it held a concrete and steel ornamental memorial lamp above it.

The structure was hit by a lorry at the junction of Church Street and East Street, and the plinth was partly shattered.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called at around 1.30pm and had to use specialist lifting equipment to move the lamp post which they described as being in a ‘precarious position’.

There were also electrical issues with the plinth which had to be resolved by the fire service.

Barry’s Obelisk has now been completely removed from the junction, leaving a gap in landscape.

Sir Charles Barry, the joint architect of the Houses of Parliament, designed the plinth in 1851. The lamp was given to Lord Leconfield as thanks for his providing the town with gas lighting.

He also designed St Peter’s Church in Brighton and restored the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Petworth.

Debbie Serpell, who works in the Antique’s Market on the junction, saw the incident, and said it was the second enormous lorry that had gone through Petworth that day.

She said: “I think these drivers ignore everything but their sat navs, as there are signs telling them not to come through the town. We had to go out and help the drivers to reverse out of the town because of the one-way system and the roads are so narrow.

“This second lorry driver realised he wasn’t going to get through, tried to go back the way he came and then reversed straight into the plinth. He damaged the base and moved it about six inches.

“The police and fire service made the decision to remove the plinth completely in case it fell into the road.

“I believe the plinth was then transported to Petworth Estate for restoration and I am sure it will be put back soon.”