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
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Chris Weddell (32 days ago)
Took the dog here, there is no entrance fee, the road to the carpark is narrow so take care. The views were great from the top of the hill, the dog loved it romping around and rolling in the wet grass. We will definitely be going back there
Mister Jon (3 months ago)
A breathtaking tower with amazing views of the countryside. There is a small (free) parking lot that is just a short walk from the tower. The roads leading to the parking lot are one lane but there is two way traffic. Drive slow and with caution.
Laura Irons (3 months ago)
Visited Paxton's tower today, free parking which was great. A short steep walk up the hill allows you to get up close to this beautiful 200 year old tower. The views are lovely and you can see the botanical garden dome from the top. Great to take some pictures and spend a bit of time in nature.
Christine Massey (8 months ago)
I come here fairly often as it is a good walk for me. The views are always breathtaking, even in the mist. Plenty of space for children to run about and family picnics. A decent rubbish bin at the top and dog poo bin would be a good idea. . An added bonus is this place is FREE!
joel rees-price (8 months ago)
Great views and an amazing tower commanding the hill top, car park nearby so nice for a quick visit and short walk around. Roads are single track and blind turns so care needed when driving there
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