Beckford’s Tower was designed by Henry Edmund Goodridge in 1825 and completed in 1827 for William Beckford (1760-1844). The 120-foot neo-classical Tower, which enjoys uninterrupted views of the countryside, was constructed as a study retreat and to house Beckford’s collection of art and rare books.
The surrounding Victorian Cemetery, containing William Beckford’s tomb, was in his lifetime part of a pleasure garden known as ‘Beckford’s Ride’, which ran from his house in Lansdown Crescent up to the Tower at the top of Lansdown Hill.
The Tower (currently closed for refurbishments) is home to a museum collection displaying furniture originally made for the Tower, alongside paintings, prints and objects illustrating William Beckford’s life as a slave owner, a writer, a collector and a patron of the arts.
When the museum reopens in spring 2023, visitors will be able follow in Beckford’s footsteps and climb the spiral staircase (pictured) to the beautifully restored Belvedere and experience the spectacular panoramic view of Bath.
The Tower is an extraordinary building that stands today as the only surviving example of William Beckford’s architectural achievements, funded through the profits that he gained from his involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.