Sunday, February 01, 2015


Curious Buildings Upon Which an Englishman Spent His Money

New York Sun, Sunday January 2, 1910 – Page 8  From the London Daily News

The village of Brightling (about nine miles inland from Hastings) possesses probably the most novel collection of strange buildings in England.
About half a century ago a certain Squire Fuller, the chief resident; who was possessed of great riches, spent money lavishly on the erection of numerous quaint buildings with the idea of rendering his memory imperishable in the little village. Squire Fuller’s eccentricity earned him the sobriquet of “Mad Jack”.
Perhaps the most remarkable of the buildings is the Sugar Loaf House, in which the “Mad Squire” was anxious to immure a man for seven years –during which time the victim was neither to shave, wash or hold any communication with the outer world.  His food was to be passed in through a window. there were several candidates for the experiment, but he authorities intervened and forbade the execution of the wild scheme.
The observatory contains in the dome a camera obscura, which the Square place there so that his tenants could keep observation on their cattle without going into the fields.
Cleopatra’s Needle, built of local sandstone, stands at an altitude of 800 feet above the sea and its base is covered with innumerable visitors’ names.
Solomon’s Temple, built in the style of an Eastern mosque, with massive marble pillars, was used by “Mad Jack” as a card room
The Squire’s tomb, built to resemble the Pyramids, has a beautifully decorated interior and bears carved quotations from the Squire’s favorite authors.  The Squire’s coffin was placed on a stone trestle above ground and the door of the tomb locked with a key which was afterward destroyed.
Beacon Tower was originally intended to guide ships into Pevensey Bay, but the squire planted trees all round and this rendered it useless to mariners.


  • There was at one time a camera obscura in the Brightling Observatory but it is doubtful that its purpose was for farmers to watch their cattle. 
  • Obelisks erroneously called "Cleopatra's Needles" are in Washington DC, Paris, London and Luxor. Jack Fuller built the Brightling Needle. 
  • The Rotunda Temple at Rosehill, now called Brightling Park, is not in the style of an Eastern mosque. It is a folly built in the neo-classical style.
  • Fuller's coffin was not placed on a stone trestle, he is buried in the conventional manner under the floor of his pyramid mausoleum
  • The "Beacon Tower" is too far inland to have been used to guide ships.

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