to save Hougoumont
200 years ago British forces fought to save the farm of
Hougoumont from falling into the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte's
included British Guards, Nassauers, Luneberg sharpshooters
and Hanoverian troops.
was at the battle of Waterloo and the strategic landmark
at the western end of the battlefield was the key to the
entire British position.
it was thrown the French II Corps of Honore Reille, who
sent Napoleon's brother Prince Jerome and his division
to take Hougoumont.
fighting that erupted was to last for most of the day
of battle and ended up drawing in more French troops than
Napoleon had intended or could afford to waste.
dusk more than 1500 British, German and Netherlands troops
were casualties while the French lost about 5000 men.
there is a second battle to save the historic farm complex
- this time from the ravages of the years and decay.
is called Project Hougoumont and its aim is to raise funds
to pay for badly needed remedial work on the farm buildings.
Hougoumont says on its website:
visitor to the battlefield of Waterloo and the farm of
Hougoumont can not help but be immediately struck by the
parlous state of Hougoumont farm.
is a clear and desperate need for the restoration and
enduring preservation of this unique and historic site.
is usually the gaping and ever expanding breach in the
South Wall, or the bulging wall of the Great Barn that
first attracts the eye.
is not long before even the most casual observer understands
that Hougoumont has been allowed to fall into a state
of disrepair and that in places it is fast approaching
the point of no return.
in early 2007, Project Hougoumont seeks to halt the decay
of Hougoumont Farm and in co–operation with the Belgian
authorities work toward its restoration and enduring preservation.
Hougoumont aims to work in partnership with all interested
parties to actively raise the funds so urgently needed
to finance extensive restoration works.
is our aim to have these works completed in time for the
200th anniversary of the battle in 2015. We are committed
to the sympathetic and accurate restoration of this historic
site for future generations of visitors from all over
at The Napoleonic Guide wish Project Hougoumont every
success and hope a good percentage of our 180,000 readers
a month will back this effort to save a key part of military
Pictures: © 2007–8 Frank Toogood.