Last summer one of our walks sparked a lot of interest on my Facebook page, so I thought I'd do some research and share it with you all.
We go walking in the woods in Westerham (on the Surrey/Kent border) regularly, two years ago we even camped there, and whilst camping there a lady out walking her dogs mentioned a tower - we've explored those woods a lot, but had never come across a tower.
We parked somewhere different (along Hosey Common Road) and went exploring.
We wanted to head towards the little stream so we could dip our feet, Lee never keeps to any tracks, so we ended up cutting through ferns and other foliage and taking a slippery walk down a very steep wooded hill, where we reached the stream. This area is used for clay pigeon shooting so you'll find lots of little black discs everywhere.
After a little rest by the stream - we headed back through brambles and ferns up the hill, climbing over fallen trees all the way. It's honestly not so bad - our three year old managed it!
Lee found the tower! It appears we'd walked right by it earlier but hadn't noticed, as it is completely camouflaged from one side and covered in ivy.
The inside is beautiful, it is half derelict, light streams in through the large arched wndow openings and there is a small patch of graffiti, which seems to add to the charm.
It's also an amazing backdrop for photographs, a professional could do a fabulous job here.
Well now we were curious as to what this tower may have been used for, my guess was a watch-tower? So after a bit of google searching I found this on Visit Westerham:
"The Tower: Tower Wood, off Hosey Hill is an 18th century Folly Tower, roofless and in ruins. Galletted rubble masonry, two storeys and basement. East and west walls have tall, round arched windows on first floor and two round windows below".
A detailed history of The Tower has recently been written by the local historian Robert Combley. He mentions that Colbran's "New Guide to Tunbridge Wells" in 1840 says that the tower was built to obtain an uninterrupted view of St Paul’s London, 21 miles away. To read more about the history please click here.
Here is a view of where the tower is located via google maps which shows the location of the tower.