No folly to restore historic landmark

A SUFFOLK landmark is set to welcome holidaymakers as a historic hideaway – once it has been given a charity restoration.Freston Tower, a Tudor folly looking out over the River Orwell, is to benefit from funds raised in this year's Landmark Trust raffle before it is opened to visitors as a holiday home in 2004.

A SUFFOLK landmark is set to welcome holidaymakers as a historic hideaway – once it has been given a charity restoration.

Freston Tower, a Tudor folly looking out over the River Orwell, is to benefit from funds raised in this year's Landmark Trust raffle before it is opened to visitors as a holiday home in 2004.

The proceeds from the raffle will go towards the restoration of the six-storey, Grade II-listed building building.

The raffle offers a chance to win a break in any of the Landmark Trusts historically significant and unusual buildings.


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More than £6,500 of holidays are on offer, from a first prize worth £3000 that could provide two weeks' accommodation for sixteen people in the Villa Saraceno in Italy – a sixteenth century Palladian villa complete with original frescoed friezes.

The runner-up will win £1500 to spend on one or more of Landmark's 170 architecturally unusual or historic buildings. 

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There are also 20 third prizes worth £100 each - enough to spend a few days in a folly, a fort - or a pigsty.

Freston Tower is due to open to Landmark visitors during 2004 once the challenging restoration work has been completed.  Renovating towers is notoriously costly and demanding because of their height and exposure to the weather and Freston Tower will demand the highest standards of craftsmanship to do justice to its unique design.  The Landmark Trust hopes that the money raised from its raffle will provide the rest of the funds needed to restore this carefully built tower to its former glory.

 Freston Tower is a red brick square structure with distinctive blue brick diapering pattern, built in about 1550 in the grounds of Freston House, just south of Ipswich.

There is a single room on each floor and local legend has it that Ellen de Freston was required to study a different subject on each of its floors on the different days of the week, with the top floor reserved for astronomy.  However, given the profusion of windows all around the Tower and its proximity to the estuary, it is most likely that it was built as a lookout over the River Orwell.

The Tower was generously donated to Landmark in 2000 by private owners and work will begin as soon as the necessary funds have been raised. 

Once restored, Freston Tower will be available for holidays and the income from letting the property will go towards its future maintenance. 

Last year's Landmark Raffle raised £80,000 and helped to fund the repair of Methwold Old Vicarage in Norfolk, a timber framed building with a spectacular late 15th-century brick gable-end, delicately carved beams and late sixteenth-century wall paintings.  

The Landmark Trust runs and lets historic buildings as holiday homes.

Entering the raffle can be done online at www.landmarktrust.co.uk/raffle or by calling 01628 825920. 

Each ticket costs just £1 and must be purchased before March 28th 2003.

The draw takes place on the 4th April.

 

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