SURVEYS are being carried out on the iconic Pen Dinas monument after it was struck by lightning over the festive period.

The monument that towers over the skyline above Penparcau has been cordoned off since the lightning strike on Thursday, 28 December, which caused large rocks to come loose from the 18-metre high column.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and the monument and neary footpaths were restricted as a result of the rocks falling.

Giving an update this week, a spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: "Discussions are ongoing between Ceredigion County Council and Cadw regarding the damage caused to Pen Dinas.

"Until surveys are complete, we cannot advise of a date when the monument will be safe to visit again."

The monument was built in around 1858 as a memorial to the Duke of Wellington.

According to Cadw, the main person responsible for seeing to its construction was W.E. Richards of Bryneithin.

The monument takes the form of an eighteen metre high upended cannon. It is built of stone rubble and rises from a square podium, the shaft tapers before arriving at a swept out funnel. It is thought that the column was intended to carry at statue at the top, which was never in-stalled.

The monument was fully restored in 1999, following a lightning strike in 1997, with a re-placement rounded slate surround at its top specially made at Blaenau Ffestiniog.