A public appeal has been launched to raise £10,000 in 2022 to help conserve one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
Bath Preservation Trust are looking for financial support for their project Our Tower: Reconnecting Beckford’s Tower and Landscape for all.
Since 1827, William Beckford’s extraordinary tower has been a feature high above the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath. It was intended to house his library, art collection and be a retreat from the hubbub of Bath. To access it, Beckford reputedly bought a mile of land between his home in Lansdown Crescent and the tower itself and created a series of interlinked gardens, plantations and rustic seats, with views over the Avon Valley, culminating at the Tower. This became known as Beckford’s Ride.
In the two centuries since his death in 1844, the original walls of the tower garden fell into disrepair, the paddocks became overgrown and other parts of the ride passed into different ownership. Beckford’s Tower was added to the National ‘At Risk’ Register in October 2019.
It is the only museum in the world dedicated to bisexual writer, slave owner and collector William Beckford (1760-1840), and Our Tower: Reconnecting Beckford’s Tower and Landscape for all aims to widen access to Beckford’s complex, creative life story by reconnecting the Tower and lost landscape he created to a wider, contemporary audience.
Development grants awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Historic England are enabling Bath Preservation Trust to repair and conserve the tower, and to re-examine the way in which they share the story of William Beckford’s links to the transatlantic slave trade.
Alex Sherman, CEO of Bath Preservation Trust explains “Public support is a crucial element, and donations help to demonstrate the appeal of the project to local residents, visitors to the museum and others which will benefit – so please support us, donations of any size are all very gratefully received.”
You can donate to Our Tower: Reconnecting Beckford’s Tower and Landscape for all in lots of different ways, and you can find out how here.