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BBC Wales's Melanie Doel
"The hills around Crickhowell would have inspired George Everest and spurred him on quite literally to bigger things."
 real 28k

Tuesday, 7 March, 2000, 21:57 GMT
Celebrating Wales on top of the world
Sir George Everest
Sir George Everest left Wales to become the Surveyor General of India
A ceremony has been held in mid Wales to celebrate a remarkable link between one of Wales' smallest market towns and Mount Everest.

Sir George Everest - the man who first surveyed the Himalayan peak and gave it his name - was born in Crickhowell.

Sir George's home - the Manor of Gwernvale
Sir George's home - the Manor of Gwernvale
Now a room in his former home has been named in his honour.

It was the hills around Crickhowell which would have inspired George Everest and spurred him on, quite literally, to bigger things.

Born in 1790 in the Manor of Gwernvale, he left Wales to become the Surveyor General of India.

There he studied what was then known only as Peak 15 or to the local Tibetans - Chom olung ma meaning Goddess mother of the World.

Mount Everest - the world's highest peak
Mount Everest - the world's highest peak
"George Everest took part in one of the great mapping feats of history - the survey of India which began on the south cape and moved gradually up towards the Himalayas," said journalist and author Trevor Fishlock.

"It took them more than 20 years to do that and they had to carry enormous pieces of equipment weighing half a tonne a piece."

But it was more than 20 years before the significance of his work was truly appreciated and the peak was finally recognised as the highest point on earth's surface.

Later it was named Mount Everest in his honour.


It was a century later that the race to conquer Everest was won - when in 1953 Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing reached the summit.

But for some time controversy raged over its exact height.

"The height has been argued a few times," explains Chris Barber of Walking Wales. "But they have now one back to the original figure of 29,002ft."

Today a restaurant at his former home - now the Manor hotel - has been renamed the Everest room.

It is a gesture which seals the remarkable and little known link between one of Wales smallest market towns and one of the most dramatic wonders of the world.

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See also:

28 Feb 00 |  South Asia
Fears over surge in Everest attempts
02 Feb 00 |  South Asia
Everest's 'new height' disputed
12 Nov 99 |  South Asia
Mount Everest reaches new heights
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