History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Associations with William Morris
Broadway Tower is a late 18th century folly, built by Lady Coventry on the top of Fish Hill, overlooking the north Cotswold village of Brodway. Sometimes called Fish Inn Tower, for a pub that used to stand atop the hill, the tower stands 62 feet high and offers wonderful views over 16 counties. On a clear day you can see the spires of Worcester Cathedral and the towers of Warwick Castle, which is not too surprising when you consider the tower stands on the second-highest point of the Cotswold escarpment, at 1024 feet.
The Tower stands on the route of the Cotswold Way National Trail, and is a popular destination for walkers. Beside the tower is a deer park, where you can easily spot deer wandering at any season. To the north is Clump Farm, a lovely area of countryside owned by the National Trust. The Cotswold Way leads through Clump Farm to Dovers Hill, 3 miles away, where the annual Cotswold Olympicks are held.
The tower is most famous for its association with Arts and Crafts founder William Morris. Morris set up a printing press inside the tower, and one entire floor is set up as an exhibit covering his life and association with Broadway. He is said to have been inspired by the tower to found the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877 (though a similar tale has been told about Burford church).
During Word war Two the Royal Observer Corps used Broadway Tower to track enemy airplanes, a task made easier by the wide vantage point atop Fish Hill. Following the war the military constructed a secret bunker just below the tower as part of an early warning system in case of nuclear attack. The bunker was in continuous use from 1961 until it was decommisioned in 1991. It remains fully equipped, and within the past few years the bunker has been opened to visitors, and you can now take a guided tour underground when the tower is open (an extra charge may apply).
The tower has exhibits on three floors, with stairs leading to a viewing platform on the crenellated top. There is an entrance fee to the tower, but the country park is open at any time. The car park has limited hours, but you can easily park along the roadside. You haven't really seen the north Cotswolds if you haven't visited Broadway Tower!
About Broadway Tower
Address: Broadway Tower Country Park, Middle Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire, England, WR12 7LB
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: In Broadway Tower Country Park, just off the A44 at the top of Fish Hill. Open daily. Car park, cafe, and WCs.
Website: Broadway Tower
Phone: 01386 852390
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Broadway, St Eadburgha's Church - 1 miles (Historic Church)
Snowshill Manor - 1.8 miles (Historic House)
Snowshill, St Barnabas Church - 1.9 miles (Historic Church)
Buckland, St Michael - 2 miles (Historic Church)
Saintbury, St Nicholas Church - 2 miles (Historic Church)
Gordon Russell Museum - 2.3 miles (Museum)
Chipping Campden Market Hall - 3 miles (Historic Building)
Chipping Campden, St James Church - 3.2 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Broadway Tower: