Cole’s Monument stands in the grounds of the Forthill Park; a beautiful five & a half acre wooded park in Enniskillen.
The monument was built in the centre of the park in memory of the late General the Hon. Sir G. Lowry Cole from 1845-57.
Forthill Park takes its name from a 1689 star fort located on the site. The Forthill Promenade and Pleasure Park has always been a space for public use.
After the Plantation, Forthill Park was called “Commons Hill” or “Cow Hill,” where Enniskilleners could graze their cattle and animals. It was also known as Camomile Hill, where in 1689, the Governor of Enniskillen, Gustavus Hamilton, ordered a fort of sods to be raised in Enniskillen; hence the name ‘Forthill’.
In 1836 the area was enclosed, planted with trees, and transformed into a promenade and pleasure ground.
After the Crimean War a captured Russian Gun was brought to the south bastion of the Forthill. It fired a salute to the first train arriving in the town in 1857 and broke the windows in Belmore Street.
By the 1880s the park had become overgrown and little used. Thomas Plunkett, Chairman of the town commissioners, supervised the landscaping of the park and on 7 August 1891 the Forthill Pleasure ground officially opened with special areas including the “Dell”, the Ferney, the Fountain, and the Waterfall; all designed by Plunkett.
Forthill Bandstand was erected to Plunkett during his own lifetime in 1895 as a mark of appreciation.
The first stone of Cole’s Monument was laid on 5 June 1845 but the monument was not complete until 1857. The statue was by Terence Farrell however the architect is unknown.
The monument takes the form of a Doric column, topped by a statue of General the Honourable Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole.
Cole had distinguished himself in the Peninsular War and later became Governor of Cape Colony. During the wars with France, Cole served in the French West Indies, Martinique and Guadeloupe; the names of these and other campaigns in which he was involved are engraved on the side of the monument.
General Galbraith Cole was the second son of the first Earl of Enniskillen and a direct descendant of Sir William Cole, the Planter.
He was a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons for the family seat of Enniskillen from 1797 to 1800 and represented Fermanagh in the British House of Commons in 1803.
Cole’s Monument is open selected Saturdays & Sundays from 26 June until 25 September 2022, every half hour from 2pm – 4.30pm. Tours last 20 minutes. Pre-booking essential