Whether you’re walking the Cotswold Way or just visiting the area for the day, Broadway Tower is worth a visit. The Tower is one of England’s outstanding viewpoints and at 1024 feet (312m) above sea level, it is the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment. Known as the Highest Little Castle in the Cotswolds, the building with its sandstone colour and an impressive height of 65 feet, really stands out on the horizon from miles away turning it into a very popular destination.
On a summers day the Tower bathed in a golden light becomes a great destination for a family day out. The area, worthy of some good pictures, is best known for its spectacular views and surroundings. The building itself offers a unique geographical feature as on a clear day you can see views expanse of a 62 mile radius and up to 16 counties from the top of the Tower. It’s possible to see as far as the Black Mountains in Wales to the West and as far as Buckinghamshire to the East.
Broadway Tower is Cotswolds’ Highest Castle at 312m (1024ft) above sea level and 19.8 m (65ft) tall.
The tower, formerly known as Beacon Tower, was the brainchild of Capability Brown and James Wyatt designed in 1794. The Tower became home to the printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips, who is most notably remembered as one of the greatest private collectors of books and manuscripts of the 19th Century. In 1822 within the Tower’s walls he established the Middle Hill Press and here as well he welcomed serious researchers and scholars to his tower as a refuge for learning. Thanks to Phillipps’ activities the Broadway Tower was romantically regarded as ‘the lighthouse of wisdom’.
This mini-Saxon castle made up of three turrets, detailed with balconies and gargoyles, became associated as a popular countryside retreat for influential pre-Raphaelite artists. Members of the Arts and Crafts movement such as William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones used it frequently as a holiday retreat and work inspiration.
Want to see more? Visit the full gallery and get to know Broadway Tower better.
The Tower captured attention of William Morris, an English textile designer, poet and novelist, who felt inspired by its history but also concerned for its neglected state. This led to the foundation of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877, a major development in the preservation of British heritage started by Morris.
Today, Broadway Tower remains a celebrated historic icon of Cotswold and is very popular amongst tourists as you can walk, cycle or drive to it. Thanks to Lord Dulverton, who restored a second turret staircase in the tower itself and opened it to the public in 1975, visitors are able to explore its interior and climb to the top of the roof for breathtaking views.
This view over the landscape was recognised as being a unique vantage point, turning Broadway Tower into a surveillance spot during the war.
If you have time I would highly recommend you taking a steep climb out of Broadway Tower towards the Broadway village. This really enjoyable walk is going to take you through the Cotswolds fields full of lambs and absolutely breathtaking views. If you get tired on your way down you can enjoy a little break on one of the benches (if it’s not already taken by the local lambs) and get lost in the tranquility of the Cotswolds view. If you like picture-postcard villages with honey coloured buildings, Broadway village is going to delight you with its rich cultural heritage.
Next time you watch TV look out for Broadway Tower which has been featured in a number of movies and television programs including Sherlock Holmes, The Gemini Factor, Interceptor and Crush.
Broadway Tower: 10.30am-5pm.
Morris & Brown Cafe: 9am-5pm.
Nuclear Bunker: weekends and BH Mondays April to end of October.
Before you leave for the great outdoors, explore Morris & Brown’s unusual and inspiring shop full of gifts made by some of Britain’s innovative and up-and-coming design talent.
Child (6-16): £3.00
Family (2+2): £14
Nuclear Bunker: £4.00
Tower & Bunker combined: £8.00
Morris & Brown Cafe:
Enjoy a lovely leisurely lunch 9am – 5pm. Whether you fancy relaxing with hazelnut hot chocolates in front of the log fire, or a chilled white wine on the terrace, there is something for everyone to enjoy.