Hadlow Tower is a Georgian folly in a richly ornamented Gothic style constructed in brick with a Roman cement render finish and cast details. Also known as ‘May’s Folly’, it formed part of Hadlow Castle, an extravagant country house built for Walter May from 1785. The 52m high octagonal tower was added in 1838 by the architect George Ledwell Taylor and extended a further 12m with a lantern in 1840.
Thomas Ford and Partners was appointed as conservation architects and lead consultants for the development of the conservation strategy; research on appropriate repair techniques for the Roman Cement; the design of new accommodation and the reinstatement of the lantern.
New construction was strengthened with stainless steel armatures and pins.
The research that was required to develop the maintenance and repair strategy for the Roman Cement offers invaluable lessons for buildings with similar features. Hadlow Tower has won a RICS Award and two RIBA Awards.