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Beckford's Tower, Bath

4.1
#14 of 21 in Museums in Bath
Beckford's Tower, originally known as Lansdown Tower, is an architectural folly built in neo-classical style on Lansdown Hill, just outside Bath, Somerset, England. The tower and its attached railings are designated as a Grade I listed building. Along with the adjoining Lansdown Cemetery it is Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.
The tower was built for William Thomas Beckford, a rich novelist, art collector and critic, to designs by Henry Goodridge, and was completed in 1827. Beckford used it as a library and a retreat, with the cupola at the top acting as a belvedere providing views over the surrounding countryside. The Italianate building at the base of the tower housed drawing rooms and a library. Extensive grounds between Beckford's house in Lansdown Crescent and the tower were landscaped and planted to create Beckford's Ride.

Following Beckford's death in 1844, the tower and lands were donated to Walcot parish and a burial ground created, with the Scarlet Drawing Room being converted into a chapel. In 1931 the house and tower were damaged by a fire and a public appeal was made for funds for its restoration. The cemetery closed in 1992 and the next year the site was bought by the Bath Preservation Trust who have carried out extensive renovation. It is now home to a museum displaying furniture originally made for the tower and paintings, prints and objects illustrating Beckford’s life as a writer, collector and patron of the arts.
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Beckford's Tower Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
73 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • I tryed to go there but it was closed, so disapointed, never said it was closed on the hop on hop off bus. flyers.  more »
  • Quite impressive. Lots of steps to the top. Unfortunately, restricted views due to the windows. However, the attached graveyard is most interesting, gothic and rather creepy.  more »
Google
  • Knowledgeable volunteers, pretty building and easy to get too. Great as a stop on the way to other things in Lansdown.
  • Fascinating folly built for one man to sit, think and look at the view. 166 steps and he was 66 when it was built so must have had good knees. With an old graveyard at it's foot the tower is a really great place to visit and explore. The guides are lovely and knowledgeable and the mini exhibit is interesting. A fortune built on sugar and slavery, a sexual scandal and the grand tour - what's not to like?

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