The Broadway Tower

After our Hailes Abbey walk followed by lunch in the Abbey grounds last Sunday we had enough time to drive towards Broadway and to visit The Broadway Tower.

Broadway Tower

Situated on the second highest point along the Cotswold Escarpment Broadway Tower is a unique folly the brainchild of the great 18th Century landscape designer, Capability Brown. His vision was carried out for George William 6th Earl of Coventry with the help of renowned architect James Wyatt and completed in 1798. So it had connections with the Earl of Coventry’s Croome Park which I visited on the previous Thursday.

View from Tower

View from the top of the Tower

The Tower has  had a fascinating history and this is illustrated through the current exhibitions on each floor.

Throughout the centuries, Broadway Tower has always inspired and with this inspiration came a large number of uses, such as home to the printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips, perhaps the greatest collector of manuscripts and books in history.

Members of the Arts and Crafts movement used Broadway Tower as a holiday retreat. Pre-Raphaelite artists William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones were frequent visitors. Indeed, it was Broadway and the Tower that sparked Morris’ campaign for the preservation of historic monuments.

Morris curtain

Morris Larkspur Curtain at the Tower Window

The Royal Observer Corps used the unique vantage point to track enemy planes over England during the world wars of the 20th Century and later constructed a nuclear bunker to report nuclear attacks during the “Cold War“.” From the Tower’s website.

ROC window

View from the Royal Observer Corps Exhibition Floor

4 comments on “The Broadway Tower

  1. Nilly says:

    Very interesting to hear about the Pre-Raphaelite connection. I’m ashamed to say we’ve only seen the view looking up to the Tower so far – maybe next time!

  2. nexi says:

    Definitely a must do. I actually live in the Cotswolds but hadn’t heard of it – from Hull originally and tend to head up North. Lovely posts.

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