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Broadway Tower (Updated)

Visited June 2012

Location Broadway, Worcestershire
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes
Facilities Cafe, Shop, Toilets
Map

 

Despite visiting in June, we found Broadway Tower almost  completely obscured in low cloud, as the photos illustrate. The tower is on the second highest point in the Cotswolds, so bear that in mind when you plan your visit- the weather may be completely different up on the ridge surrounding the tower.

 

Built as a folly for the 6th Earl of Coventry, it was supposed to resemble a saxon tower complete with turrets & gargoyles. The surrounding park was designed by the renowned landscaper 'Capability' Brown. The tower itself was never used as a permanent residence, but the nearby farm was occupied until quite recently.

 


 

 


Review

 

At 1024 feet above sea level, the views from the tower are amazing, on a good day you can see 16 counties. On our visit we could see nothing due to the cloud. We went on June 2nd, which was the exact same day as in 1943 when a Whitley Bomber plane on a training exercise crashed next to the tower, killing all the crew. The conditions on that day in 1943 were similar to the conditions in 2012, it was quite eerie to think we were experiencing the same sort of weather which was believed to be the cause of the crash 69 years ago. Every year a memorial serivce to the crewmen is held on June 2nd and all visitors are welcome to attend.

 

Despite the cloudy weather we made the best of our visit. The tower houses a small museum, with displays on the history of the tower, including the second floor dedicated to William Morris, one of the leaders of the Arts & Crafts movement, who spent many summers holidaying at the tower with his family. The top floor of the tower is has an exhibition on the Royal Observer Corps, who were stationed on the hillside for many years as it was an excellent vantage point to observe enemy aircraft, especially during WWII.

 

The tower has three upstairs floors, so it is an easy ascent to the top as you can break it into stages and stop on each floor. As said before we could not see much on the day we went, but if you get the right weather I should imagine the view is well worth the climb. If you use the link below there is a gallery on the official website where you can see images of the tower and the views.

 

 

 


 

 

 


There is also a nuclear bunker in the park, situated a few minutes walk from the tower. This is also a legacy of the Royal Observers, who were monitoring any sign of nuclear attacks during the cold war era. It is open on specific days throughout the year, but the children did not go into it as it was down a ladder and then into a smallish chamber which they both declined, but depending on age it might appeal to some . A reasonably fit adult some have no problem though, assuming no issues with claustrophobia.

 


 

 


After visiting the tower & bunker we walked the short way back to the car park, stopping en route to watch the deer in the nearby deer park. There is a large cafe in the car park, situated in what used to be the farm house.  The hot food was just what we needed after a stomp around in the cloud and drizzle.  The tower itself has a small gift shop and a hot drinks machine, but actual food and toilet facilities are in the cafe. Keep that in mind if you are intending to head out for a long walk in the park.

 


 

 

 

More info:  Broadway Tower

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