Broadway Tower Country Park
Unique Historic Monument with Museum on 3 Floors to Raise Funds for its Preservation
Standing 65ft high Broadway Tower is the second highest point in the Cotswolds and sits dramatically on top of an ancient beacon site. The brainchild of Capability Brown, Broadway Tower was built for the Earl of Coventry in 1798 by renowned 18th Century architect James Wyatt.
It is believed that Broadway Tower was built so that the Countess of Coventry could see if her Cotswold estate was visible from Croome Court in Worcestershire (now a National Trust property). A fire was duly lit and Broadway Tower was clearly seen from Croome. The Earl of Coventry commissioned the Tower to commemorate the occasion.
Known as the Highest Little Castle in the Cotswolds, Broadway Tower has a Saxon look with circular arches over the windows and entrance. There are three turrets, three canted sides and numerous gargoyles and balconies. On a clear day you can see up to 16 counties from the top of the Tower.
In 1827 Sir Thomas Philipps acquired the Tower and used it to house his printing press and collection of over 60,000 manuscripts and printed books. Although Sir Thomas amassed the largest collection of manuscript material in the 19th Century he didn’t quite achieve his ambition to own “one copy of every book in the world”.
Broadway Tower was a countryside retreat for members of the Arts & Crafts movement and in the late 19th Century Sir Edward Burn-Jones rented the Tower with his friend William Morris. Morris mounted expeditions to Broadway Tower and frequently visited with his daughter May.
William Morris was so inspired by Broadway Tower and other ancient buildings that he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877. “The most inconvenient and the most delightful place ever seen … how the clean aromatic wind blew the aches out of our tired bodies, and how good it all was”.
With views stretching as far as the Welsh Mountains in one direction and Buckinghamshire in the other, Broadway Tower was the perfect choice for the Royal Observers Corps to track enemy planes over England during the wars of the 20th Century. In 1943 a bomber crashed into Beacon Hill 200m from Broadway Tower and the tenant farmer, who was also a member of the Royal Observer Corps, tried to save the lives of the men in the plane. He was later recognised by Sir Winston Churchill for his efforts.
During the “Cold War” in the late 1950’s the role of Broadway Tower was changed to monitor nuclear fallout in England and an underground Bunker was built 50 yards from the Tower. Manned continuously from 1961 and designated as a master post, the Nuclear Bunker was one of the last bunkers constructed and, although officially stood down in 1991, the bunker is now one of the few remaining fully equipped facilities in England.
As well as the Tower and Nuclear Bunker, Broadway Tower Country Park is home to a herd of Red Deer. On certain dates in Spring and Autumn it is possible to view the deer and their babies more closely under the expert guidance of our Head Ranger.
Within Broadway Tower Country Park is Morris & Brown, a contemporary conversion of a Cotswold Stone Barn, offering a stylish retail destination packed full of original products and inspirational gifts. Chic country home-ware, luxury accessories and local art adorn the walls and the licensed coffee shop serves delicious, home cooked lunches using the finest local produce. With a constantly changing range of gifts, and beautiful free wrapping, you will certainly find an inspired present for that special occasion while relaxing with a home-baked treat and afternoon tea.
Accessible via a public footpath, and with a car park for visitors. Great for families, cyclists, walkers and wildlife lovers. The Tower has three floors of exhibitions reached via a spiral staircase and a rooftop viewing platform looking out over the Cotswold escarpment. On the ground floor is our ticket office and Tower Gift Shop which stocks a range of Morris inspired textiles, children’s toys, souvenirs and refreshments.
Just a few steps below the Tower and the Deer Park you will find the recently opened Tower Barn - a Cotswold stone barn with comfy seating, delicious coffee & cakes and a shopping area with great clothing and interior furnishings. The new space at Tower Barn will also be used to offer visitors a whole new range of activities and experiences ranging from workshops to talks. There are also easy to use ‘Moustache’ E-bikes available to hire.
Events At Broadway Tower & Tower Barn
There are all sorts of Events on at Broadway Tower & Tower Barn - from Deer Encouters to Wool Painting Workshops, a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop and more - see details at broadwaytower.co.uk/news-and-events/
Broadway Tower is situated of the A44 Evesham - Moreton-in-Marsh, one mile south-east of the village of Broadway.
Link to Google Map
Morris & Brown Cafe open 9am-5pm
Broadway Tower open 10am-5pm
Nuclear Bunker open weekends and BH Mondays April to end of October
(Opening times may vary during inclement weather conditions).
Out of hours opening is available by prior arrangement.
CLOSED ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
Child (6-16) £3.00
Family (2+2) £14
Nuclear Bunker £4.00
Tower & Bunker combined £8.00
“Annual Pass”. Support the preservation of this unique building by booking your annual pass. Enjoy 12 months complimentary admission and a 10% discount on all purchases in our cafe & gift shops.
Group rates are available for parties in excess of 12 visitors offering a 50p reduction per head. In order to qualify group admission must be paid in one transaction. Schools and Educational visits are welcome.