Years ago, on a weekend ramble through the Cotswolds, I came upon Broadway Tower. The castle-like folly sits high on a hill where beacons had historically been lit. In 1799, Capability Brown and James Wyatt designed the tower as a beacon of sorts for Lady Coventry, who was curious if it could be seen from her house twenty-two miles away. It could.
In later years artists William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, among others, stayed in tower. You can see for miles through the large windows of the single rooms on each circular floor, and further still from the battlements at the top. I’ve visited many times since, but that first trip left the greatest impression on me. It was a cold, dark day in fall with moody skies and swirling winds. There was no one else there, and I wound up the spiralling stairs to the top of the tower, where I braced myself on the crenulations against the wind and looked out over the landscape, feeling very much outside of time.