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Clavell Tower

Listed under Unusual Places to Stay in West Country, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Clavell Tower
  • Photo of Clavell Tower
  • Photo of Clavell Tower
  • Photo of Clavell Tower
Photo of Clavell Tower
Photo by flickr user iJammin
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Built in 1830 as an observatory and a folly, and now in the running to become a World Heritage Site, this tower stands alone against the wide sweep of Kimmeridge Bay. A definitely Tuscan-esque structure over looking a quintessentially rocky Dorset bay, Clavell has drawn the attention of people walking along the South West Coast Path, which runs quite close by, and gained more fame as the inspiration for the P.D. James novel 'The Black Tower' and as the image used in the frontispiece for Thomas Hardy's Wessex Poems.

A couple of years ago the tower had to be saved from falling into the sea, but it's been taken apart and rebuilt 25 metres from the crumbling cliffs, and it's been redone to fit modern health and safety bureaucracy, but look as much as it originally did as possible – they found one of the balustrades being used as a birdbath in a local garden. But the rebuild means it's now open to guests – only two at a time, only four can squeeze around the kitchen table, can climb the spiral staircase and sleep in the tower. Be warned your nights sleep might be slightly interrupted by the light of a local lighthouse, but the atmosphere of the wind buffeting the lone tower sounds inspiring.

Written by  Jemima Jones.

Other expert and press reviews

“UK Heritage: Folly reborn at Clavell Tower”

By Sophie Campbell for The Telegraph First Published 29 Aug, 2008 If Clavell Tower was a Hollywood dowager, everyone would want the name of the surgeon. The 178-year-old Dorset folly, dramatically set on a ridge of the Purbeck coast, has just undergone… Read more...

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