Brightlingsea’s best-known landmark, Bateman’s Tower is a folly and bathing house built in 1883 by John Bateman for his daughter who was recuperating from consumption. Historic England also suggests that was intended to be a lighthouse – it’s often mistaken for one by visitors to the town.
Shown in our date-unknown picture before the current sea wall was built around it, it has its characteristic lean already – presumably the foundations weren’t all they could have been! The original roof was removed to make the tower less conspicuous to enemy aircraft when it was used as an observation post by the Royal Observer Corps during WWII. A replica roof was added during a restoration of the tower in 2005.
Bateman’s Tower has commanding views of the creek, the River Colne and the estuary, and is now mostly used by the Colne Yacht Club and other clubs to start local yacht races, regattas, and smack and barge matches.