Bateman’s Tower is one of the town’s best known landmarks. It’s located at the end of Promenade Way, close to the paddling pool.
Often mistaken for a lighthouse, it’s actually a folly built in 1883 by John Bateman for his daughter to recuperate from consumption. Bateman was Brightlingsea’s first Deputy after the revival of the Cinque Port Liberty in the town and presented the magnificent chain of office that is still in use today. You can read more about him here.
Thanks to its commanding views of the creek, the River Colne and the estuary, the tower was used as an observation post by the Royal Observer Corps during WWII. During this time the roof was removed to make the tower less conspicuous to enemy aircraft.
In 2005, a restoration project restored the tower to its original condition, including the fitting of a replica of the original roof. It’s now used by the Colne Yacht Club to start races, including the regatta races up to Wivenhoe and Rowhedge and September’s Colne Smack and Barge Match.
The tower leans slightly owing to its foundations of faggots – bundled sticks. But our leaning tower is the best spot to see a spectacular Brightlingsea sunset and it’s much photographed as a result!