Broadway Tower is a beautiful folly which sits atop Beacon Hill, the second highest hill in the Costwolds, after Cleeve Hill. This tower was the brainchild of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and built by James Wyatt for Lady Godiva between 1798-1799. Lady Godiva wondered whether she could see a beacon from her house in Worcester, some 22 miles away. She must have been chuffed that she could in fact see the beacon clearly. We visited this wonderful monument following another Walking Englishman Walk. Walking outside was at the time one of the view government sanctioned ways to meet up to people without falling foul of the law.
In the late 1950s, Broadway Tower monitored nuclear fallout in England; an underground Royal Observer Corps bunker was built 50 yards (46 m) from the Tower. Manned continuously from 1961 and designated as a master post, the bunker was one of the last such Cold War bunkers constructed and, although officially stood down in 1991, the bunker is now one of the few remaining fully equipped facilities in England. Wikipedia
The view from Broadway Tower was quite stunning. We went on one of the last days of summer and could see as far as sixteen counties at once, not sixteen countries as I pronounced when there. Please see below a snap shot of the view with Matthew and Phil, suitably distanced, blocking it.
Interestingly, around 1870, Sir Thomas Phillipps, aniquary and book collector, used the tower as his printing press. You’ll be glad to know he collected the largest collection of manuscripts in the 19th Century. He spent almost all of the substantial estate he inherited from his father on vellum, a sort of calf skin paper. the Magna Carta, for example, is written on vellum. Please see below another snap shot of the glorious view from Broadway Tower.
In summation, I hope you have enjoyed this brief history of a wonderful monument with a magnificent view. I have had to pinch the cover photo from the official website because we arrived just after 11am which meant that the hordes of tourists had descended and I would not be able to post any of the photographs we took for fear of data protection breaches. But to appease the photo hungry among you, please find attached one final picture of this excellent view atop this monument. I hope you will visit. There is a museum in this tower now but sadly due to the nature of our walk we were unable to visit it.