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© Mr Arthur A. Chapman FRICS

IoE Number: 442844
Photographer: Mr Arthur A. Chapman FRICS
Date Photographed: 04 November 2004
Date listed: 11 August 1972
Date of last amendment: 11 August 1972
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

823LANSDOWN ROAD(West Side)Beckford's Tower &Mortuary Chapel,Lansdown Cemetery

1. 823 LANSDOWN ROAD (West Side) Beckford's Tower & Mortuary Chapel, Lansdown Cemetery ST 76 NW 1/809 I 2. 1825-27. Architect H E Goodridge. Erected for William Beckford (1761-1844) rich eccentric, author of "Vathek" and builder of Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire, The tower is a prominent landmark on the ridge of Lansdown above Bath. Stands 813 ft above sea level, height of tower including lantern 154 ft. The attached chapel was originally intended as a residence for Beckford on his retirement. In 1848 this portion was consecrated as a mortuary chapel and the interior reconstructed to suit. The tower is in Bath stone ashlar and is Graeco-Roman in conception with freely-treated detail. Consists of a square shaft approximately 130 ft high of which 2 thirds is plain masonry relieved only by small loop openings lighting internal spiral staircase of 208 steps. This stage terminates in a Doric entablature with bold cornice supported on each side by 4 mutules. Each face of 2nd stage is divided by square piers into 3 tall rectangular openings framing deeply recessed semi- circular arches with imposts. Entablature to this stage has dentilled cornice and blocking course ornamented with long panels of running fret and emphasised at each corner by a square block with circular boss. The 3rd stage is roughly octagonal on plan and forms a high plinth for the octagonal crowning lantern which is in wood with fluted iron column at each angle. The 2 storey chapel from which the tower rises is generally similar in treatment with small paired semi-circular headed windows, moulded cornice, pierced parapets, stone bellcote with bell. The entrance elevation has a porch of 3 semi- circular headed arches with heavy imposts, semi-circular headed inner entrance with heavy double wooden doors. Interior has barrel-vaulted panelled wood ceiling and coved apse.

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