Radical ESSEX




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Layer Marney Tower

Built in the 1520’s, Layer Marney Tower is a grand house, built by Henry, Lord Marney in the 1520’s. A Tudor Palace, built as a statement house. It says a lot about the man who built it – he is rich, important and is in with the King. It is built to the height of fashion. With no local stone, Lord Marney used buff (stone coloured) terracotta decorations to look like stone, so his friends would think how rich he was, to import stone for his house. Although built at a time when traditional crenellations were changing from being practical fortifications, to merely decorative, the King still had to give permission to use them on the Tower.

Layer Marney Tower is the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in the country. It has 99 steps to the top and appears to have eight floors, but double windows were built into the Tower, to make it appear to have more floors than it really did. The clay for the red bricks were probably brought in from a few miles away, chosen for its colour. Black glazed bricks are intermingles for decoration, mostly symmetrical, though you may spot some mistakes. The black pattern of the bricks is called diapering.
More information here
Layer Marney Tower, Layer Marney, Borough of Colchester (View on Map)
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: