HE was one of Britain’s greatest naval heroes.

Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale, who rose to become Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, captured or destroyed 20 enemy vessels during his career and also helped defeat a mutiny.

Now campaigners have unveiled plans to restore a 172-year-old monument. The 76ft Egyptian-style obelisk overlooks Lymington, where Sir Harry was MP for a total of 25 years over a 40-year period.

Cleaning, re-pointing and repairing the listed structure in Monument Lane, Walhampton, is expected to cost tens of thousands of pounds.

The work, coupled with other projects commemorating Sir Harry, could result in a total bill of between £75,000 and £100,000.

Lymington and Pennington Town Council owns the obelisk and is planning to apply for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Next year sees the 250th anniversary of Sir Harry’s birth in 1765 and the 175th anniversary of his death in 1840.

Members of the Burrard Neale 250 campaign are drawing up proposals to refurbish the monument and improve the overgrown area around the historic landmark.

A campaign spokesman said: “The monument is a particularly fine obelisk made from granite from the same quarry as Nelson’s Column and erected at the same time.

“It’s one of Lymington’s hidden gems. While its tip can still be viewed from the High Street, the monument is largely obscured by trees.

“The campaign aims to resolve these problems, enabling residents and visitors to rediscover the obelisk, enjoy its attractive setting and learn about Sir Harry.”

Lymington’s mayor, Cllr Anna Rostand, added: “Sir Harry was a central figure alongside Nelson and was one of the town’s greatest sons.

“The 250th anniversary of his birth gives us a great opportunity to give this spectacular monument and its surroundings a new lease of life.”

Organisations supporting the campaign include the Lymington Society, Hampshire Gardens Trust and the New Forest National Park Authority.

Cllr Rostand added: “I’m sure that with the enthusiasm shown so far, we’ll be able to make a great application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”