Castles Of England
Articles View Hits

King Alfred's Tower

Visited June 2016

Location Stourhead, Wiltshire
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes 
Facilities At Stourhead








King Alfred's Tower is a 160ft high, triangular shaped , crenellated tower sited on the Stourhead estate in Wiltshire. It was built in 1772 by Henry Hoare, the then owner of Stourhead. The tower was erected near to the spot where King Alfred the Great is believed to have rallied his Saxon army prior to the battle of Ethanduan in 878. At the time is was built the tower was sited on the boundaries between Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset, three counties in Alfred's kingdom of Wessex. However the boundaries of Dorset have since moved so today it borders just Somerset and Wiltshire.





Although part of the Stourhead estate, the tower stands a fair way away from the house and main part of the renowned gardens. It is possible to walk up through the estate to the tower, but it is a fairly long stomp, especially with young children. It is only about a ten minute drive from the main house, so we would recommend this option. There is a car park for the tower, and although there are no facilities there, on the day we visited there was an ice cream van at the roadside by the car park. 


The walk from the car park to the tower takes about five minutes through a field. The day we went it was pretty busy, with lots of people sitting on blankets and on deck chairs and having a picnic in the nice weather. We were however most disappointed to find that the tower was closed, when the published opening times said it should be open. Apparently the National Trust rely on volunteers to open it up, and sometimes they don't turn up. We felt a bit annoyed at this as we had checked at Stourhead reception on arrival and told it would definitely be open that day.


So, unfortunately we cannot tell you about the magnificent views from the top of the tower, but if anyone has managed to climb the tower we would love to hear about it- our email address is on the bottom of the welcome page!





So, instead of views from the tower, we have added some views of the beautiful , world famous gardens at Stourhead. There is a lot to see there and it is certainly worth a visit. There is lots of space for children to let off steam and the massive rhododendron bushes make great dens.





More info:  King Alfred's Tower

Featured Pics
Build A Castle