Pepperbox Hill Tower - Atlas Obscura

Pepperbox Hill Tower

A doorless and windowless folly in England that evokes curiosity over its mysterious origins. 


Considered to be one of the oldest follies, its purpose remains unknown. Built by Sir Giles Eyre in 1606, the three-story tower is constructed of brick into a hexagonal shape, with its entrances and windows blocked.

Thought to be designed by Sir Thomas Gorges, it’s speculated Eyre built Pepperbox to overlook the castle. On Eyre’s gravestone, an epitaph can be read where it says Eyre was “a man much oppressed by public power.” Another theory suggests that it was designed to provide a lookout for the local landowners’ wives to watch hunting events, including Eyre’s wife Jane. 

In the early 18th century, the tower was allegedly a spot for highwaymen. Robbers would attack travelers by horseback once they reached the summit.

During the 20th century, Pepperbox was a lookout post in World War II for the local Home Guard. Also known as the Local Defence Volunteers, the Home Guard was an armed citizen militia that supported the British Army during WWII. Today, Pepperbox Hill Tower is a grade II building.

Know Before You Go

There's parking at the site, it can be muddy so wear appropriate shoes. 

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