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Paxton's Tower

Visited April 2017

Location Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station Nearby No 
Parking Yes 
Facilities None


Visible for miles around, Paxton's Tower is an eye-catcher folly. Built by William Paxton in 1806 it was designed to be seen from his nearby estate at Middleton Hall.






Paxton was a gardener and a lover of water features, and employed the greatest engineers of the time to landscape his estate at Middleton. He then turned his attention to building a tower, said to be in honour of Lord Nelson, on a hill top overlooking the Towy valley.


The tower had a banqueting room on the first floor, and a second floor room leading out onto the roof terrace, which afforded views in all directions. The windows of the tower were decorated with coloured glass, some of which is preserved today in the Carmarthen Museum.


After William Paxton's death his estate was sold to a series of owners who were not really interested in the upkeep of either the water features or the folly and so both fell into disuse. Eventually Middleton House succumbed to fire and the remains were demolished. Carmarthenshire Council took over the estate and the tower was brought into the care of the National Trust.





Visiting the tower today involves some pretty narrow lanes, but once you have arrived there is a large car park. The final walk up to the the tower from the car park is an easy uphill walk of about five minutes. Once at the tower there is an internal staircase up to the former banqueting room- but with no window glass and bare walls and floors it is no doubt a shadow of its former glory. There is no access to the second floor viewing terrace. 


The views are impressive though, with a good view of Dryslwyn Castle to be had. There is also a view of the glass house at the Botanic Garden of Wales, which was established on Paxton's former estate in 2000. A trip to Paxton's Tower is easily combined with a trip to the gardens, and as the history of the two sites are so closely linked it  actually makes perfect sense to visit them both.







There are no facilities at the tower, but the Botanic Gardens has toilets, shops and a very good and reasonably priced restaurant. Children will especially enjoy the water features, play area and butterfly house, not to mention the large amounts of  outdoor space to enjoy. See our 'Other Places of Interest ' page for more details.





More info:  Paxton's Tower

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