Beckford’s Tower

If you drive into Bath along the Lansdown Road you will pass Beckford’s Tower on the right. This extraordinary architectural folly was built in 1827 in the neoclassical style on Lansdown Hill.

It was financed by an eccentric, wealthy local resident, William Beckford. He was an art collector, novelist, art collector and critic. He used the tower as a retreat and library, with the cupola at the top providing views over the surrounding countryside. However, as was sadly the case with many individuals during this period, much of his family’s wealth came from plantations and is something to always keep in mind when discussing these landmarks.

We once visited a few years ago, and found the place somewhat eerie but the views were amazing. The tower is currently undergoing renovation and is closed to the public.

This bucolic sketch of the tower by Thomas Barker of Bath (1769-1847) is coming up for an auction at Christie’s in London this week.

🏷️ Lot 46 (one of two pictures), Beckford’s Tower by Thomas Barker of Bath

💜 Philip Hewat-Jaboor: An Eye for the Magnificent (8 Feb 10:30 AM GMT)

Beckford’s Tower and Museum