Author Archive

Restoring England’s Heritage

Dec 6

Hadlow Tower featured in this one-off programme about the restoration of buildings in the south-east (other regions had their own stories to tell).

The programme also visited Sheerness Docks where the architect of Hadlow Tower, George Ledwell Taylor, superintended works as well as designing the neoclassical Royal Dockyard church in 1828.

To view the programme just follow this link


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Hadlow Tower wins Award!

Oct 22

Hadlow Tower has won an English Heritage Angel Award in the category ‘Best Craftsmanship Employed on a Heritage Rescue’. Not only that, we also won the People’s Award (voted by supporters, English Heritage members and Telegraph readers).

The Awards were founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the proceedings took place in the Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus, London on 21 October.

We want to thank all the people who supported us and voted for us, and of course we also want to thank all the people that worked so hard restoring Hadlow’s iconic Tower - the Vivat Trust who took on the project, architects Thomas Ford & Partners, structural engineers The Morton Partnership, TRAD scaffolders, construction company Mansell, sculptor Ivan Cudby who made the clay sculptures from which the decorations were cast, casters The Artificial Stone Company and last, but certainly not least, The PAYE Craftsmen who rendered the building and attached the decorative elements.

If you want to watch a short film about our entry please follow the link


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Successful first season

Sep 20

Hadlow Tower has now closed after its first season of public visits.

After some initial teething problems the Tower opened in June, since which time 1450 people have toured the exhibition area and holiday accommodation, and climbed the stairs to the 130ft high viewing platform to admire the landscape.

The Tower has been manned by an excellent team of volunteer stewards who, by all accounts, have enjoyed their first season of showing the public the delights of this iconic building.

We look foward to next Easter when we hope to welcome YOU to our Tower Experience.

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Tower shortlisted for Award

Jul 28

Hadlow Tower has been shortlisted for an English Heritage ‘Angel Award’.

The Awards, founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber cover 4 categories and we’re listed under the Craft section.

Read all about it at

We’d love you to vote for us! 

From the link above click on Shortlist 2013

On the right hand side of the page click Vote for your favourite 

VOTE for: Vivat Trust/Save Hadlow Tower Action Group for Hadlow Tower, Tonbridge, Kent.

And don’t forget to come for a visit!!

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Restoration almost complete.

Feb 24

Our new Visitor  Centre and state-of-the-art exhibition area will be on the ground floor of the Tower, and we hope to welcome our first visitors in May.
Please follow the link to view a recent report from itv Meridian News.


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At the very top!

Dec 21

This photo of the weather vane was taken just before the scaffolding started to come down. We are above the topmost pinnacles of the lantern, 175 feet above the village.

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Weathervane up, scaffolding down

Nov 2

Now that the weathervane has been installed, and the roof to the ‘lantern’ finished, the topmost scaffolding is being removed. The tail of the weathervane has the letters VT cut into it for the Vivat Trust (who now own the Tower), although in the photo it reads TV as the wind is coming from the south-west. The ornamental metalwork below the vane is based upon photographic evidence from the early 1900s.

This is the first time the topmost pinnacles have been seen for 18 years since the lantern was removed for safety reasons in 1994, even then the pinnacles were replacements made of fibreglass after the originals had become unstable.

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Flying the flag

Aug 4

The Union Jack was raised on Hadlow Tower to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. 

The scaffolding has now been put in place for the rebuilding of the 40ft missing lantern, which hasn’t been seen for 25 years.


The view left was taken from the eastern approach to the village.

We are still seeking donations towards the Visitor Centre, which will be run by a team of volunteers on public open days.

Please find a donation form linked to our fund-raising page.

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Mar 16

Restoration of the Tower is progressing well and some of the decoration is now being reinstated. Sponsorship of rosettes has proved so popular that all 168 have now been sponsored!

Our committee is currently working on the final design and content of the exhibition screens for the Visitor Centre. There will 4 large curved screens to compliment, rather than mirror, the octagonal shape of our dedicated ground floor space and we hope to add some three-dimensional objects and memorabilia. We will also have display space above the living accomodation as the airy spiral staircase ascends to the public viewing area.

The photo shows part of the original wooden internal structure at level 10. This will be replaced by a new steel core to support the reinstated 40ft lantern which will rise above the viewing platform


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Recent Restoration news

Sep 1

View Laura Norris of the Vivat Trust in a BBC South East video clip from March 2012 about the restoration of the Tower

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