The Tower Project

Our Tower: Reconnecting Beckford’s Tower and Landscape for all aims to connect people with the buildings and landscape created by the bisexual writer, slave owner and collector William Beckford (1760-1840).

In 1826 William Beckford commissioned an extraordinary Tower, he created a garden between his Lansdown Crescent home and the retreat now known as Beckford’s Tower, where he could escape from the city within the natural environment. Many buildings designed within this landscape are now lost or have become detached from each other, yet Beckford’s Tower (Grade I) still stands above the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath. It is the only museum dedicated to William Beckford in the world.

Beckford’s Tower was added to the National ‘At Risk’ Register in October 2019 and we were delighted to receive confirmation of development funding of up to £422,600 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund a few weeks later.

Heritage Fund

Fonthill Gardens Open Day Silent Auction 6 – 12 May

We are running a fundraising Silent Auction to coincide with the Fonthill House open day Sunday 8th May 12 – 5pm.  All proceeds raised will go towards the Our Tower project, so if any lot takes your fancy, please bid generously!

Bids are accepted from 6 May and bidding ends 5pm on 12 May.  Come along to the Fonthill Gardens Open Day to see lots in person.  Click here for more info.

For Beckford Silent Auction list and how to bid click Here.

A huge thank you to Lord Margadale and the Fonthill Estate, The Beckford Arms, The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, and private donors, who have donated prizes.

Lot 1 – Exclusive private tour of the Fonthill House gardens and landscape with Lord Margadale & weeknight Bed & Breakfast at the Beckford Arms.

Lot 2 – First Edition – Delineations of Fonthill and its Abbey by John Rutter, 1823 [Valuation £200-400.  Reserve/starting bid £100]

Lot 3 – Taittinger Afternoon Tea for Two at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Exclusive private tour of No.1 Royal Crescent Museum, Bath

Lot 4 – Limited Edition Clive Arrowsmith photograph Peter Gabriel on Solsbury Hill 1978 (1 of 35) [Valuation £1,000. Reserve/Starting bid £200]

Lot 5 – A Double Magnum of Taylors Special Wood Port – Vintage Character, in Harrods Wooden Box

Public Fundraising Appeal Launched 3 Feb 2022!

We have a target to raise £10,000 from public donations this year.

Public support is a crucial element of our project and your donations help to demonstrate the appeal of our project to local residents, visitors to the museum and others that will benefit.

Donations of any size are gratefully received and here are the ways that you can give:

  1. To donate by TEXT send this message: OURTOWER to 70085 to donate £10 (Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message)
  2. Donate by BACS to the following account: Sort code; 40-52-40 Account Number; 00024926 Account Name; The Beckford Tower Trust
  3. Send a cheque payable to the Beckford Tower Trust to The Our Tower Project, c/o 1 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LR
  4. Download the Beckford Tower Donation Form and email us your completed copy.

If you would like to find out more about the work we are planning and how your donation will be spent, click here to view our Beckford Tower Fundraising Booklet

Donation Counter

Check our progress!  We have a target to raise £10,000 from public donations this year. The campaign launched in February 2022 and this chart will be updated each month.

We would like to thank everybody who donates to help us deliver our project.

What will we do?

With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and others we aim to widen access to Beckford’s story by reconnecting the Tower and lost landscape, bringing the story of Beckford’s complex, creative life to a wider contemporary audience through:

  • New exhibition spaces
  • A new visitor experience
  • Better interpreting the story of Beckford including wider exploration of
    lesser explored themes of Beckford’s life, including sexuality, exile and connections with slavery
  • New community programmes and volunteering opportunities
  • A brand new schools programme
  • Comprehensive conservation of the Tower
  • Restoration of Beckford’s currently inaccessible Grotto Tunnel
  • Conserving the surrounding landscape and creating new footpaths