Old John Tower has been an iconic image of Bradgate Park for many years. Known and loved as part of Leicestershire’s rural skyline, its significance in the history of the park cannot be understated.
The Trust decided that it was time to open the Tower to the public and spent much of the summer renovating the interior to make it fit to do so.
In order to inform and communicate the towers relevance to Bradgate, as part of its environmental and social history, a series of graphic display panels were created which are on display within the Tower itself..
“The Towers elevated position above the park has always made it a focal point”.
Built in 1784 on one of Leicestershire’s highest points, the circular stone tower replaced the former windmill on Bradgate Park’s tallest hill.
The Tower was built for the Fifth Earl of Stamford as a Folly, possibly inspired by Mow Cop Castle in Cheshire, and later adapted by the Seventh Earl to provide a vantage point to watch his race horses gallop on the racecourse at the base of the Hill, as well as fox hunting across the Park and surrounding countryside.
The layout of the Tower, constructed in local granite stone, has remained largely unchanged for over 200 years.
The information graphics contained in the Tower delve deeper into the Towers history and that of the main protagonists who where responsible for its development and use.
It is possible to gain access to the Tower on selected days to see the interior as well as find out more about the Seventh Earl of Stamford, his wife Kitty Cocks, a former Circus Performer and Show Girl and their pastimes and pursuits. You can also take in the splendid panoramic view of the park and surrounding area.