Paxton's Tower is a Neo-Gothic folly erected in honour of Lord Nelson. It is situated on the top of a hill near Llanarthney. The tower was built by Sir William Paxton (1745-1824), a Scottish-born and London-raised merchant and banker, whose forefathers were from Auchencrow by Paxton, Berwickshire. Paxton made his first fortune while with the HEIC in Calcutta with Charles Cockerell, brother of the architect. He purchased the Middleton Hall estate c 1790. The tower was built c 1806-1809. Paxton may have been inspired to build the tower by Nelson's death at Trafalgar. Whilst in the office of mayor of Carmarthen, he may have met Nelson in person. Marble tablets dedicating the tower to Nelson were located above the entrances to the tower.

Middleton Hall was designed by the architect, Samuel Pepys Cockerell (1754-1827) and was destroyed by fire in 1931.

The tower is 36 feet high. The lower part of the tower is triangular in shape with a turret at each corner. On the first floor there is a banqueting room. Coloured glass from one of the windows can now be seen in the Carmarthen Museum at Abergwili. On the second floor there is a hexagonal prospect room surrounded by roof terraces. The windows to the prospect room are now bricked up. There is currently public access to the first floor banqueting room via stairs in one of the corner turrets.

A piece of land at the nearby National Botanic Garden of Wales, named Paxton's View because of its views of the tower, features the sculpture Pi by Rawleigh Clay, which consists of a large metal hoop mounted by a twisted wooden structure. The hoop is designed so that it 'frames' the view of Paxton's Tower, and as such has been described as a 'viewing circle' for the tower.



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    Founded: 1806-1809

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    Jessibeth15 (7 months ago)
    Information board at the bottom of the hill to read a bit about the history of the tower. Once up the hill you have absolutely stunning views all around. Small little car park to use aswell. Drive up to it is all small roads, which some drivers may find challenging, however I felt there was enough spots to pull into to allow vehicles to pass.
    Thomas Brown (8 months ago)
    Visited with family over Easter and did some egg rolling. There is a small car park near the gate which is free. The tower itself is positioned on top of a reasonable hill suitable for most people to navigate. Once you get to the top the views are stunning, you can see for miles! The tower itself is very well preserved and there is very little in the way of dangerous objects etc so you can let the children run around without fear of them injuring themselves. Be aware that the field must be used as a sheep field at some point as there is sheep poo around so keep an eye out for that.
    Nicholas R (9 months ago)
    Beautiful hidden gem. Parking was easy and plentiful right across the road, the tower itself is small but has sweeping views. If you ascend the adjacent hill you can get a really nice view with the tower and hillsides. Currently the tower was closed for the higher level, but you can still walk into the ground floor.
    Peter Heisch (2 years ago)
    A Short walk up the hill from the car park which is on your left. You are not able to get up it and you should only visit if you are staying nearby. There is a lovely view, we only stayed about ten minutes, before going into Carmarthen via the park and ride.
    Laurence Markham (2 years ago)
    Beautiful views. Up the stairs is all locked off so ground floor only. Somewhat disappointing. Very narrow lanes single track lane to access.
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