A Silent Signal…….

BROADWAY

Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

Is this just a ‘Folly’ or was it constructed to fulfil a vital role as a ‘Signal Tower’ or Beacon.  The Tower was built long before the invention of instant signalling devises.  So I like to think it was  built of practical reasons…but also like the fun idea of having such a dominant building erected…. just because I could!.  You can make up your own minds…. here is the back story of  the most likely of theories and its History…

It was built on the whim of Lady Coventry who persuaded her husband the 6th Earl of Coventry to pay for the design and construction…  Her home was some 20 miles away from this hill on which the tower was to be built. The hill itself had been a “Beacon Point” for signal fires for several centuries.  Lady Coventry was not sure that she would have been able to see such a beacon signal, so two famous names in Landscaping and Architecture were commissioned to construct a Tower.

Capability Brown and James Wyatt collaborated to build Broadway Tower, it was completed in 1798….. and yes, Lady Coventry could gaze upon it from her distant home. . No real surprise as the hill stands at some 1024ft and the tower itself a height of 65ft.

Over the intervening years Broadway Tower has provided a useful function apart from being purely visual and decorative.

In 1822 Sir William Phillipps installed a printing Press from which to publish his catalogues of his large book collections.

This was followed in the 1880’s as a ‘Retreat’ for two famous Artists and Designers, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.  The Tower seemed to make a great impression upon them as they went onto to establish the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

BROADWAY-TOWER-05a

Today the Tower is part of a Country Park and is open for visitors to climb to the Tower and enjoy panoramic views over the Cotswolds, the Industrial Midlands, six counties and to the far-off Welsh Hills. 

BROADWAY-TOWER-01

Well worth a visit but as always…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

20th August

(C) David Oakes 2020

6 thoughts on “A Silent Signal…….

    • It is known as a Folly. I could explain these quirky constructions from a time when certain people had too much money and insisted on bragging about their wealth but Wikipedia does it better “In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs.” I guess far as Broadway Tower is concerned it did for a time serve a purpose other than that it was built for……. and today the centre of a Country Park with easy access. 🙂

  1. This is interesting. I saw the tower recently in an episode of “Father Brown” and recognized it in your picture right away. Someday maybe I’ll visit Great Britain and see some these out of the way places in person.

  2. So interesting! I do believe if I ever get the chance to travel abroad to your side of the big pond and the land of my ancestors, I’m going to have to go back over all of your posts to make lists of all the places I want to see that you’ve displayed.

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