Sunday, February 19, 2023

Broadway Tower

Part of the buzz I get from researching is making connections, most of all between John 'Mad Jack' Fuller and seemingly different things. Barbara, Countess of Coventry wondered if the beacon on Middle Hill, Broadway could be seen from her house, Spring Hill, in Worcester 35km (22 miles) away. The construction of Broadway Tower, designed by James Wyatt and built in 1794, confirmed this to be true. 'Mad Jack' allegedly had the Sugar Loaf folly built at Dallington to win a bet that the spire of the village church could be seen from his home at Rose Hill. He had an obelisk, known as the Brightling Needle, erected on the hill where Brightling Beacon has been traditionally lit. In 1779, diarist Fanny Burney wrote about the coquettish Peggy Pitches flirting with the young Captain Fuller at the card table. Four years later, Peggy married Lord Deerhurst George William Coventry, the 7th Earl of Coventry, stepson of the aforementioned Barbara.

We visited Broadway tower on a rainy day when, unfortunately, water started leaking into this magnificently furnished folly. Thankfully, property owner Annette Will was on hand to quickly get the situation under control.

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