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13 November 2014

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You are in: Dorset > History > Local History > Kimmeridge Bay's Clavell Tower

Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay

Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay

Kimmeridge Bay's Clavell Tower

The Clavell Tower, a historic landmark in Kimmeridge Bay built in 1830, has been successfully restored and relocated 25 metres from its original position to stop it falling into the sea.

A project to restore and relocate a coastal landmark has been completed after a year and a half of painstaking work.

The Clavell Tower at Kimmeridge Bay was at risk of falling into the sea due to land erosion. But the project by The Landmark Trust and with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has ensured the iconic tower has been saved.

Clavell Tower during its renovation

Clavell Tower during its renovation

Peter Pearce from The Landmark Trust says of the project: "It's completely unique - we've never done anything like this before. It's an extreme bit of conservation, and otherwise the tower would have been be over the cliff."

Moved 25 metres

The tower first had to be dismantled brick by brick, before it was moved 25 metres inland.

Each of the tower's 16,000 stones were carefully numbered, and there were 300 bricks that had to be rebuilt using masonry skills.

The tower dates back to 1830 when it was built as an observatory and folly by Reverend John Richards Clavell of Smedmore.

Clavell Tower close up

Clavell Tower close up

Famous Dorset writer Thomas Hardy often came here and it was also the inspiration for PD James's novel The Black Tower.

Adrian Tinniswood, Heritage Lottery Fund, says: "The tower defines the landscape and coast line around here, and to see it saved is fantastic."

last updated: 06/04/2009 at 11:50
created: 26/02/2008

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