A Purbeck landmark credited with inspiring two of Britain’s best-loved authors will open to the public next month.
The Clavell Tower, which fell into disrepair after the First World War, was moved 85ft to safety, brick-by-brick, from an eroding cliff top at Kimmeridge, as part of a two-year restoration project ending in 2008.
Novelist Thomas Hardy would often take his girlfriend Eliza Nicholl to Clavell Tower, while crime author PD James’s award-winning novel The Black Tower is thought to have been inspired by the building. On September 13 and 14, the Landmark Trust will be offering members of the public a rare chance to look inside the tower.
The tower was built in 1830 by The Rev John Richards Clavell as an observatory and folly. The restoration project, starting in September 2006, cost around £1million and involved moving 16,272 bricks.
The tower will be open to the public for free, from 10am to 4pm, in association with the National Heritage Open Days programme.