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Landmark Trust, Evening Star 1999

In late 1999 - around November - the Evening Star, Ipswich's local newspaper, reported that Freston Tower had been handed over to the Landmark Trust. This is the text of that article.

If you want to get the feel of what it would be like to live in a historic building a famous Suffolk landmark has become available for holiday stays.

Freston Tower, which lies on the south bank of the River Orwell, has recently been donated to the Landmark Trust by Claire Hunt, from East Anglia.

The tower, which dates back to the 1500s, is six storeys high and has picturesque views over the river.

Funds still need to be found to carry out repairs on the building, once this is complete the spectacular Tudor tower will be available for bookings.

Freston Tower, on the south bank of the River Orwell, was believed to have been built in 1549 by Edward Latymer as a lookout tower.

"But it has been free standing since the 18th century," said Alastair Dick-Cleland, project officer for the Landmark Trust.

"The fact that one side of the tower has no windows suggests that at one time there could have been a house attached."

But the building is such an important part of Suffolk's history because it is one of the earliest examples of a lookout tower.

"It is important as a lookout tower because it was built much, much earlier than most," said Mr Dick-Cleland. It was much more usual for lookout towers to be built in about the 18th century."

Freston Tower, which came into the hands of the Landmark Trust just a few months ago, is made up of about six rooms stacked on top of one another with an oak spiral staircase linking one room to the next.

Mrs Hunt used it as a holiday home before she donated it to the trust.

It will suit up to four people and holiday-makers will be able to stay there for self-catering holidays once repairs and decoration have been completed.

Mr Dick-Cleland thanked Mrs Hunt for her generous donation to the trust. "The Landmark Trust is delighted that Mrs Hunt has entrusted us with future care of Freston Tower," he said. "By letting it as a landmark it will be available for people to stay in the foreseeable future."

The Landmark Trust, a building preservation charity, has about 167 properties on its books including towers, castles, follies and gate houses.

The trust was founded in 1965 by Sir John and Lady Smith and the aim is to rescue buildings of architectural and historic importance by giving the buildings a new lease of life through letting.

For future details about the building contact the Landmark Trust website.

If you would like to buy a handbook, value 9.50 refundable on booking, contact the Landmark Trust on 01628-825925.

Copyright Evening Star, 1999


Amended 30-May-2001 by EFB