Broadway Tower: A Folly of Delight and Daring
Art and Architecture • 23m
High on the peak of the Cotswolds stands one of the most remarkable buildings in Britain. Built as a folly in the final days of the 18th century, Broadway Tower sprung up during the height of the French Revolutionary Wars under the distracted watch of the architect James Wyatt. In the following years Wyatt’s “Saxon Castle” became a lighthouse of learning (housing the printing press of the notorious Sir Thomas Phillipps) and later in the 19th century it became an eccentric summer retreat for William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites. In the 20th century, the tower became a Royal Observer Corps lookout post and site of a tragic air crash which was recognised by Churchill himself. Despite this eclectic history, Broadway Tower remains (as a young printer once described it) “the most delightful situation imagination can conceive”. History Hit's Alice Loxton pays a visit to this folly.
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