Monument record MLI41271 - Prospect Tower of Saltfleetby House, Saltfleetby St Peter


A tower, now gazebo, possibly built in about 1812.

Type and Period (2)

  • (Post Medieval to Modern - 1812 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • (Post Medieval to Modern - 1812 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Prospect Tower belongs to Saltfleetby House and has a square ground floor and an octagonal top storey. It may be the tower designed by Wyatville in Lincolnshire in 1812. {1}{2} Prospect Tower is a Grade II listed tower, now gazebo. It was built of brick with ashlar dressings in about 1812, possibly by Sir Jeffry Wyattville. {3} Thomas Oldham (1778-1843) was born in Lincolnshire and lived most of his life in the Marsh village of Saltfleetby St Peter. He lived at Saltfleetby House (PRN48192) an imposing house in the village and owned much of the land in Saltfleetby. He was a prominent figure in the village. He built a prospect tower, or gazebo, in the grounds of his house, which still stands today and it has been suggested that this unusual brick structure may have been erected by a local builder so that Oldham could oversee his workers without having to actually walk or ride out to the fields. The prospect tower is, however, also designed to impress, enhance Oldham's prestige and to act as a gazebo with views across the Lindsey Marshes to the sea. The tower is a mix of different architectural styles; it uses blank arches, pilasters, blank portrait windows and oeils-de-boeuf (bulls-eye round windows), the whole brick structure topped off with an octagonal glazed, railed observatory top. The decreasing masses, when viewed vertically, hark back to the style of Hawksmoor from a century before. Elements of Robert Adam's mixing together of Palladian classicism and romanticism can also be seen in the tower. The arches to the first stage are not 'giant order'. This is normally taken to mean an order which spans two or more stages in a building. The oculi are open only on the west and south sides of the octagonal third stage; the north and east oculi are dummy with painted glazing bars, to allow the internal staircase to be fixed to the inside walls. The flat tower walls have recesses; the octagonal second stage is narrower, geometrically contrasting and thus more refined. The whole effect is of a solid based but slender structure which accords well with the simple contours of the surrounding landscape, in keeping with Robert Adam’s ideals. The mention of a date of 1812, for the construction of the tower, and of Sir Jeffry Wyatville as the designer is speculative and the reference to Wyatville is, at best, tenuous and unprovable. It is possible that the tower was not designed by a prestigious architect, but perhaps by Oldham himself. {4}

Sources/Archives (4)

  •  Bibliographic Reference: Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris. 1964. Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (First Edition). P348.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: William White. 1856. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire - Second Edition. P234.
  •  Index: Department of the Environment. 1986. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 9/58.
  •  Bibliographic Reference: Smith, Christopher. 2007. 'Thomas Oldham Esq. of Saltfleetby: typical farmer, aspiring gentlemen or plain eccentric?' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.42, pp.14-25.



Grid reference Centred TF 4344 8952 (6m by 6m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 21 2021 8:35PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.