Hadlow market food

Hadlow Tower, in Hadlow village, near Tonbridge in Kent, known as May’s Folly, is a Grade 1 listed building and it is up for sale for £2 million, you can spend a few nights there with the whole place to yourselves, or you could be lucky enough to win it in a raffle!

All details on the website.

I decided to visit it to have a look round.

Hadlow market food

We could see Hadlow Tower long before we got there. It was impossible to miss it, soaring high and skinny above everything around it. It’s supposed to be the tallest folly in the world.

It was part of a castle built in the 1780s for Walter May which was partly demolished in 1951 for building materials, of all things!

Hadlow market food

Old castle entrance

It was said that he had it built so he could spy on his estranged wife.

Bernard Hailsone, an MP and well-known portrait painter, bought the Tower and the surviving courtyard building, saving them from being completely destroyed.

Hadlow market food

Huge front door

From 1999-2011 it was hired out for sex parties! A News of the World reporter infiltrated one of them. Oh the things we journalists have to do!

Actually if you think about it, the Tower does look a bit phallic…

In 1976 it was bought by the Danish photographer, Soren Jensen.

The Tower was badly destroyed in the 1987 storms and the Lantern on the top had to be dismantled.

Hadlow market food

lovely views as we go higher

In 1998 the World Monument Fund had it included in the list of 100 World’s Most Endangered Historic Buildings.

Then in January 2011 it was compulsorily purchased by Tonbridge & Malling District Council, who sold it to the Vivat Trust for £1.

I’d have given them a fiver!

Extensive restoration work was carried out with the help of various grants. And then the Trust went bankrupt, so the Tower was put up for sale.

Hadlow market food

old spiral staircase

Christian and Becca Tym bought it for £425,000.

We drove through the old castle entrance and along to the Tower, and Christian was waiting to greet us by the communal lawn area.

With me were Hubby John, and daughter Rana and little Isabella, aged four.

The Tower is 175ft tall, with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 3 reception rooms.

The front door is enormous. It leads into a room which is used for exhibitions. There is another adjoining room plus toilets. Isabella was fascinated as she saw her first suit of armour.

Hadlow market food


Up we went in the lift. The next level is the kitchen and large dining room with floor to ceiling windows. Some of the old castle windows are still in some of the windows.

Hadlow market food

dining room

On the next level is the drawing room, a bathroom and another room. The views are lovely. I can picture myself in here in the evenings with a book.

Hadlow market food

drawing room

There are two bedrooms and a bathroom on the next level.

Hadlow market foodWe thought that we’d have to keep Isabella occupied, but she loved every minute of it. She ‘claimed’ one of the bedrooms and said she wanted to sleep there.

Hadlow market food

Isabella’s chosen bedroom

Rapunzel was mentioned several times as we went higher.

The 4th floor was interesting. It had a bedroom and mezzanine bathroom, plus a dressing room and an outside metal patio area. We’re nearly higher than the neighbouring houses.

Hadlow market food

Christian and Becca have four children and they’ve had the most exciting times living and playing in the Tower, which is now up for sale for £2 million.

Hadlow market foodUp again is a large landing and a wide metal spiral staircase leading to the ramparts.

By the outside door, there’s graffiti scraped in the brickwork, which was done by members of the Home Guard and the Royal Observer Corps during the WW2 War.

I’m OK with heights, but I have to let my eyes get adjusted for a couple of minutes. But it’s worth it for the view.

Hadlow market foodPeople say that the UK is overcrowded, but it’s only when you get up high that you realise how green and deserted it still is in many areas.

The views are stunning, with hardly a house to be seen.

Hadlow market foodBut this is still not the top of the Tower. There’s another 40ft above, accessed up a steep ladder, which is the Lantern. I didn’t go up there. But some extra alterations could turn this into a large room.

Hadlow market foodRana and Isabella walked down the old stone spiral staircase which Isabella loved, while I went down in the lift.

Outside again, we strolled along to the communal lake and looked back at the Tower. I’ll never forget my visit there.

Hadlow market food

Hadlow market foodWhile staying there you can visit Tonbridge, which is a very interesting town;


A few miles further on is Tunbridge Wells, also worth a visit.

Hadlow Tower is a fully equipped self catering venue. So no bed and breakfast but bed linen and towels are provided.

Prices start are £2k for a weekend or midweek and from £3,000 for a full week. Christmas is £3k for 3 nights or £5k for the week. New year’s is also £3k for 3 nights.

The rental price gives exclusive use of the property.

The website is www.thehadlowtower.co.uk and all contact details are on there.

Email is thehadlowtower@mail.com