NEAR CHIPPING CAMPDEN
Broadway Tower was the brainchild of the great 18th Century landscape designer, Capability Brown. His vision was carried out for George William 6th Earl of Coventry with the help of renowned architect James Wyatt and completed in 1798.
The location for the Tower was wisely chosen, a dramatic outlook on a pre-medieval trading route and beacon hill.
Wyatt designed his “Saxon Tower” as an eccentric amalgamation of architectural components ranging from turrets, battlements and gargoyles to balconies.
Throughout the centuries, Broadway Tower has always inspired and with this inspiration came a large number of uses, such as home to the printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips, perhaps the greatest collector of manuscripts and books in history.
Members of the Arts and Crafts movement used Broadway Tower as a holiday retreat. Pre-Raphaelite artists William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones were frequent visitors. Indeed, it was Broadway and the Tower that sparked Morris’ campaign for the preservation of historic monuments.
The Royal Observer Corps used the unique vantage point to track enemy planes over England during the world wars of the 20th Century and later constructed a nuclear bunker to report nuclear attacks during the “Cold War”.
The uses of Broadway Tower over the years were so varied and numerous that graphic displays on three floors have been dedicated to the colourful past of the building.