Friday, 6 February 2009

A MOST UNUSUAL PLACE

Today's posting is mainly of photographs. They are of a very unusual place called Freston Tower which stands on a hill overlooking the River Orwell close to Ipswich. The property is owned by the Landmark Trust. This is an organisation who restore interesting old and unusual properties and then rent them out as holiday lets. Once a year they have "Open Days" when the public can view several of their properties. We've never stayed in any of their properties as the rents are expensive, although I'm sure they are fully justified as these old buildings must be very expensive to restore and maintain. So if you are feeling flush I would recommend you investigate them further for an unusual long weekend or week's holiday in the UK.

The header photo on my blog is taken from close to Freston Tower. In fact the full photo, rather than the cropped down one, looks like this:

The tower actually looks nicer from the front where there are bow windows to virtually every floor.

Each floor comprises one room. There are no doors on the rooms (except the bathroom!) and there are stairs leading up and down from each room like this:

This is one of the bedrooms:

You can see how small the rooms are by the fact that the end of this bed is visible in the photo of the stairs. I was actually standing on the stairs to take the photo.

Here is the cosy living room, which, like the other rooms, has triple aspect windows with marvellous views:

There is also a roof terrace, safe for children, with wonderful views over the Orwell Estuary if you have a good head for heights.

If you Google "Freston Tower" you will learn more about it. I think it is wonderful that the Landmark Trust has preserved it and that they organise free Open Days for public viewing. I'm sure you'll agree this unique building is worthy of a visit. And if you ever decide to rent the property for a week, or part-week do let us know - we are only about 15 minutes from it and we'll bring a picnic round to share with you on the riverbank!

Finally my thanks to fellow Suffolk blogger Liz for inspiring me to do this posting. She told me that she had visited Freston Tower on an Open Day five years ago but she had quote "forgotten to take my bloody camera".

29 comments:

The Dotterel said...

Looks like the perfect location for blogging!

Kitty said...

Looks really nice - another place to put in the 'must visit' book. x

Debs said...

Love the photos. What a fascinating place. We have a few martello towers and a house built in the shape of a boat that have been restored and are rented out. I think it's a fab idea.

Troy said...

Dotterel - you would need a very long ethernet cable to blog from there.

Kitty - your "must visit" book must be getting quite full.

Debs - one day we'll get to Jersey. I was only looking at the FlyBe fares yesterday.

Liz said...

Funny little place, isn't it? There are numerous theories as to why it was built (in the late 16th century I believe) but I don't think anyone really knows. It was a beautiful autumn day when I went there - the light was perfect for photography, drat it! We queued for ages to get in too.

Troy said...

Liz - I believe it was built for a 16th century maiden to do her blogging (but I may have got that confused with needlework). I didn't have to queue when I went there although were several others looking around at the same time. Thanks again for inspiring this post.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Once got the Landmark Trust book to see if we could go and stay in any of the places they have done up... just amazing. One place in Italy for about 22 people. Gorgeous. Very Expensive! This looks like a fun place to stay. That sitting room... you'd have to like your fellow guests.
(do check out, on my blog, one of the comments on 2 posts ago... thought it was you... am still wondering??! Its the second last one.. you'll know it when you see it...)

Troy said...

LWM - whoever that was on your blog it most definitely wasn't me. Very odd and a bit disturbing!
We too got the Landmark Trust book - I particularly liked the fort on Alderney and did seriously consider renting that for my 50th birthday.

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Hello Troy. I followed you here from the comment you left on my blog. Thanks much for dropping by :) I see Ladybird is a follower of yours.

Very interesting post and photos of the tower. I especially like the quaint coziness of the sitting room. I can only imagine the incredible views! I must spend time this weekend looking back through your older posts. I plan to return often.

Troy said...

Debra - you are most welcome. I used to work for a US Corporation here in London so I know many of our English expressions and spellings will seem strange to you. I hope you enjoy my earlier postings - I try to bring variety to my blog - and look forward to seeing you here again. I loved your latest posting and will return to yours again.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I used to get thir brochure having stayed one time in a fort in Cornwall with a group of friends. They are amazing places and I remember seeing this one in there. Not sure my knee's could cope with all those stairs though!

DJ Kirkby said...

Wow, I really enjoyed this post and the photos. What an amazing building.

Troy said...

Sarah - I think this would be a great place for the exercise. Everytime you have to use the kitchen or bathroom think how many calories you would use on those stairs.

DJ - pleased to be of bloggy service to you.

Rosy said...

Great pics, Troy. I love the Landmark Trust. We rented the Martello Tower at Aldebuggh for a weekend last March for my partner's birthday. Brilliant stuff - the kids can sleep in hammocks like the soldiers had, and there's a drawbridge (well, a bridge, across a moat), a dungeon (well, cellar, but very creepy) and a roof terrace where you can look out to see if Napoleon is coming.

Great places, as you say, to blog or write.

Rosy said...

'Aldeburgh', even. Sorry, can't type!

Troy said...

Rosy - sounds like a great weekend. Can I challenge you to include the Martello Tower or Freston Tower in your next novel? I haven't bought the other books yet, but I will.

Rosy said...

It's already in some good ones, Troy, including Wilkie Collins's 'No Name', and at least one M.R. James ghost sory. Don't think I could really compete!

Troy said...

Rosy - I don't recall either of those books ever having a good review on the Troy blog, so you needn't worry about those competing with you. You have two choices anyway - the Martello Tower OR the Freston Tower.

Lane said...

That's a great building and the views are great. Didn't Lord Freston's daughter have a different lesson on each floor (or something like that)
My daughter went to school just down the river from there so drove by often although it's pretty much hidden from the road.

Troy said...

Lane - that is one of the stories relating to the tower but it is discounted, I don't know why as it sounds very plausible.
Do you mean that posh school at the end of that long drive which looks really grand - wow!

Trixie said...

Wow, those rooms are tiny aren't they? Looks like the seven dwarfs should live in it! Fab place!

Troy said...

Trixie - you mean like Snow White saying "I'm going upstairs, I'm feeling Grumpy tonight"?

French Fancy said...

What a cute place but you'd almost be sitting on each other's laps - maybe that was the idea. Instant friendship in an olde worlde kind of way

Troy said...

FF - indeed a fine place for a gentleman to engage in social intercourse with a young lady of his acquaintance with two chaperones present, me thinks.

Leigh said...

Hi Troy!
Finally made it here.
Yes, very nearly better now, thank you.
This is an interesting post. I had no idea about these places. Shall do googling, as you suggest, and learn more.

Troy said...

leigh - you are most welcome and am glad to hear you are feeling better. There are indeed some fascinating properties within the Landmark Trust portfolio.

Trixie said...

I have empowered the letter S on you for your meme my dear!

Troy said...

Thanks Trixie! I've also got an L from Denyse so soon I'll do a combined 5 Ls and 5 Ss meme (which will be a darn sight easier than 10 of each!).

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