The Prospect Tower

Belmont Park, Faversham, Kent - Sleeps 2

About this Landmark

A tiny, circular Tower standing on the boundary of a cricket pitch. The roof terrace gives a grandstand view of a slice of rural Kent. 

  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower

Beds 1 Double

  • Sleeps 2
  • 4 nights from £429
  • equivalent to £53.63 per person, per night

A whim for Lord Harris

This small flint Tower stands on the very edge of the garden of Belmont Park, approached by an avenue of walnut trees. On its other side is a mature park and a cricket pitch. It was built in about 1808 for General, later Lord, Harris of Seringapatam. He called it his ‘Whim’, and one suspects that the pleasant upper room, at least, was his own den, into which the family were sometimes allowed for tea.

The General bought Belmont, which owed its name to its ‘high situation and extensive prospect’, in 1801, with prize money won in India. Farming and gardening were his chief enthusiasms and he soon doubled the size of the pleasure grounds to include the land in which the tower still stands. Its design is typical of the Picturesque garden buildings illustrated in the architectural pattern books of the day, without which no gentleman's property was complete.

An unusual cricket pavilion

The enthusiasm of the 4th Lord Harris was of a different kind. He was one of the fathers of cricket, and it was he who created a pitch in about 1870 and commandeered this Tower as a changing room: hooks for the gear still decorate the walls. 

There are only two rooms in the Tower, for living and sleeping, but the view from its windows is still extensive; and you can dream of all those centuries, hoped for and, sometimes, achieved. The circular rooms including the kitchen and bathroom make interesting spaces.

Floor Plan

‘From looking through the kitchen window I am now not sure Middle Earth or Narnia were entirely fictitious.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

The Prospect Tower stands on the very edge of the garden of Belmont Park, approached by an avenue of walnut trees and overlooking a cricket pitch.

The Prospect Tower is in an excellent location for exploring Kent. 

Belmont House and Gardens is right on your doorstep at The Prospect Tower, the fantastic neo-Classical house is home to the finest collection of clocks in Britain and surrounded by beautiful parkland and gardens.

Chart Gunpowder Mills are the oldest of their kind in the world, where you can find gunpowder used in the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. 

Faversham Stone Chapel and Maison Dieu are both excellent ways to learn about this area of Kent which is so rich in history. 

In the market town of Faversham you can find a variety of festivals held all year round. The Midsummer Nights Feast and Nautical Festival are particularly worth a visit. 

Britain's oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, is open for tours throughout the year. Book onto a Beer and Food Matching evening, and enjoy some fantastic local produce with seven types of Shepherd Neame beer. 

All year round you can enjoy tours of the orchards at Brogdale Collections, home to over 4,000 varieties of apples, pears, quinces, plums and cherries to name but a few. 

Take a look at our Pinterest map for more ideas of things to see and do during your stay at The Prospect Tower. 

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

The Prospect Tower
Belmont Park, Faversham, Kent - Sleeps 2
Clear directions

‘The best ‘prospect’ is from the kitchen window.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    No.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via a private driveway from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Faversham – 4 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is parking for two cars adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage heaters and underfloor heating on the ground floor. There is also an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a free-standing shower.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are steep, narrow and spiral.
  • Can I access the roof?

    Yes,  but we would ask that care is taken in inclement weather and that children are supervised when on the roof.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden (not enclosed).

    Booking and Payment

  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact [email protected]
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

Lord Harris Seringapatam

The Prospect Tower was built in 1807-8 for General Harris, who later became Lord Harris of Seringapatam. Its designer is not known, but it is typical of the Picturesque garden buildings illustrated in the architectural pattern books of the day, without which no gentleman's property was complete.

The Tower cost £400 to build, and the General referred to it in his accounts as the Gardener's Lodge or General's Whim. The original intention might have been to build an ornamental cottage for a gardener, but it is hard to believe that this plan was ever realised. The pretty upper chamber was clearly meant for the Harris family's own use, and though the plain lower room was at that time self-contained, with its own door, it is too small for a dwelling. Besides which, it had a floor of knapped flint, which would not have made it very comfortable.

Whatever his practical first intentions, the General's fit of whimsy clearly overtook them, and he ended up building what was soon known as the Castle. It served the family as a summerhouse, somewhere to have tea on a June day, while enjoying the outlook over the countryside. An elderly cousin who lived with the family at Belmont noted one day in her diary that they had a syllabub there.

The Tower also served as the focal point for a new garden laid out by the General. He had bought Belmont Park in 1801, having returned from service in India the year before. There he had been Commander in Chief of the army that defeated Tipoo Sultan, ruler of Mysore, at Seringapatam, thus establishing British rule in Southern India. The prize money from this campaign was immense, amounting to £112,000, and this, with other savings, enabled the General to retire from the army, and set himself up as a country gentleman. After looking at a number of properties, he bought Belmont, with gardens, park and a farm held on lease from Oriel College, Oxford, 265 acres of land in all, for £8,960.

To begin with, the General was busy making improvements to the house and farm, but he soon turned his attention to the gardens. Here again, the practical things came first: peach and grape houses, pineapple and melon pits, and new walls, all appear in the accounts from 1805. At the same time he was drawing up plans for extending the Pleasure Grounds. A park and shrubberies already existed to the south and east of the house, but the General planned to make a new garden west of what was still a public road called Abraham Street. The line of Walnut Tree Walk is pencilled in on an estate map of about 1803, running through an orchard, past a wood called Nightingale Grove. The completed scheme is shown on another map of 1812.

This new walk was a favourite of the General's, and he spent much of his old age pottering up and down it. Already planted with walnuts, there were in fact two paths, one grass, the other smooth gravel 'after McAdam's plan'. Between them was a wide quickset hedge, in which he had cut arbours, with seats. At the end was the tower, with ivy growing on its walls to give a genuine air of Antiquity.

The 2nd and 3rd Lords Harris spent much of their time abroad on public duty, and the Tower was probably seldom visited. However, after 1870 it was given a new lease of life. When he succeeded his father in 1872, the 4th Lord Harris had already earned a name for himself as a cricketer. He made a cricket ground in the field next to the Prospect Tower and the Belmont Eleven was soon taking on other county teams. Until the 1920s, when Lord Harris was forced by age to retire from the game, cricket was a regular feature of Belmont summer life. The Tower served as a pavilion, with hooks for the gear fixed to the walls. The studs on the players' shoes pitted the floorboards of the upper room, and one distinguished visitor signed his name on the plaster.

A clever solution required

In 1990, the Prospect Tower was leased to the Landmark Trust. The conversion of this very small tower to provide accommodation for even two people called for some ingenuity on the part of the architects, Messrs Benson and Bryant, and the builders, W. W. Martin of Ramsgate. This was achieved by making a new door between the ground floor room and the staircase, while at the same time blocking the outside door to this room.

 

It then became possible to put a shower room in the original entrance lobby. There was just space to fit a kitchen into the corresponding alcove above. Water and electricity both had to be specially laid on, with all wires buried underground for obvious visual reasons.

Before this, extensive repairs were needed. The Tower had been unused for many years, and it had nearly lost its roof in the gales of October 1987. There were some ominous cracks in the walls. These had to be stitched with metal ties, and two sections of parapet, with the wall below, completely rebuilt. The roof was renewed at the same time, on both the main Tower and turrets.

Inside, floors and ceilings all had to be renewed. Surviving sections of the decorative cornice and central rose in the sitting room were carefully taken down and copied, to make up missing areas, before being reset. New floorboards were laid, although some of the old, stud-pitted, boards were retained in the middle of the room. When repairing the stairs, the section of wall with Sir Leary Constantine's signature had sadly to be taken down. It is now preserved in a specially made ash box. The windows were repaired, keeping the old sashes were possible, and most of the old glass. On the ground floor the existing brick floor was relaid, but with new underfloor heating beneath it.

The walls throughout the Tower are finished in traditional lime-hair plaster, and painted with special porous paints, coloured with natural pigments. The building is thus able to breath, and any damp in the walls evaporates quickly, without causing problems.

After minor landscaping works, the Tower was ready to receive its first visitors in the spring of 1992. One detail remained to be added: the weathervane of a cricketer, based on a portrait of Lord Harris.

 

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.