Bateman’s Tower is one of the town’s best known landmarks, a folly built in 1883 by John Bateman for his daughter to recuperate from consumption. The tower leans slightly, probably because of weak foundations.
Located beside the paddling pool, with a commanding view of the creek, River Colne and the estuary, the tower was used as an observation post by the Royal Observer Corps during WWII, when the roof – shown right in the 1930s – was removed.
In 2005, a restoration project funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund 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 annual Colne Smack and Barge Match in September.
The tower is probably the most photographed building in Brightlingsea, particularly as it’s a popular spot to watch the sun set.