There are different kinds of tower houses, and whether they are castle towers or Victorian tower houses, all of them hearken back to the romance of times gone by. Who hasn’t wished, from time to time, that they could climb up into a light and cozy tower room “above it all,” with safety, comfort, and beautiful views for miles?
The most well-known tower houses are often called castles and these tall, stone buildings were built primarily in England, Scotland, and Ireland in the Middle Ages. Although they appeared in other parts of the world as well, they are a significant part of the architectural heritage of the British Isles.
The design and function of castle towers allowed the owners to fend off unwanted visitors. Erecting a fortress enabled residents to be invulnerable to attack. The tall stone walls were topped with lookout stations for observing the surrounding countryside, and were also used as defense stations.
Castles-of-Britain, which is dedicated to the study and promotion of British castles, explains that in 1535, an Act of Parliament declared that landowners who had land worth over £100 were to build a tower or castle to enable them to defend their property.
Absolute Astronomy shows some photographs of tower houses and says that they were built “in the wilder parts of Great Britain, particularly in Scotland.”
Tower houses morphed into new styles in the Victorian era. For the most part, these were houses that included a tower in one corner of the building. A famous Victorian tower house built in London in 1877 was photographed by Jacqueline Banerjee for The Victorian Web. Jimmy Paige of Led Zeppelin fame is the current owner of this home, which was designed by architect William Burges around 1876 and was owned, in prior times, by Aleister Crowley and Irish actor Richard Harris.
You can stay in the tower room at the Tower House Bed and Breakfast in Statesville, NC, for a firsthand experience of a cozy Victorian tower house.
Or how about building your own tower house from a kit created at 1/144th micro scale to the original? These charmers are available from In Some Small Way and will give you (and your little princess) lots of entertaining education about tower houses.
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