Gothic ‘Rapunzel’ Tower, built to house a cheating wife in 1838 is up for sale as a luxury home but there’s no price tag. Grade I listed Hadlow Tower, one of the tallest single properties in Britain (standing at 175 feet tall) was commissioned by wealthy businessman Walter May because he suspected his wife was sleeping with a local farmer and wanted to keep his eye on her.
Commonly known as May’s Folly, the property was designed by naval architect George Ledwell Taylor and was later used as an observation post during World War Two, where the Observer Corps and Home Guard would report incoming Luftwaffe bombers.
After surviving the war, the property was badly damaged by the storm of 1987 and during the mid-nineties Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council were forced to carry out urgent safety work, removing the 40 ft ‘lantern’ which crowned the structure.
Hadlow Tower was taken over by the Vivat Trust in 2008, which carried out a full-scale restoration with donations from local fundraisers, £2.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as other funding from English Heritage.
It now has three bedrooms, a drawing room, dining room, kitchen, two bathrooms and a wet room. There are beautiful views of the surrounding countryside that can be seen from the tower’s many lovingly restored Gothic-arched windows.
The Tower is on the market as a luxury home, though there is no published price available. Apparently the building is too ‘unusual’ to fit any standard price guides.