Ancient Monuments

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The Vandalian Tower, Up Park

A Scheduled Monument in Harting, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9582 / 50°57'29"N

Longitude: -0.8832 / 0°52'59"W

OS Eastings: 478529.506324

OS Northings: 118234.941759

OS Grid: SU785182

Mapcode National: GBR CCR.ZFB

Mapcode Global: FRA 961K.V15

Entry Name: The Vandalian Tower, Up Park

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1976

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005807

English Heritage Legacy ID: WS 437

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Harting

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Harting St Mary and St Gabriel

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The Vandalian Tower in Uppark, 389m north of The Garden Cottage.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the ruins of an 18th century ornamental tower in Uppark. It is situated at the summit of Tower Hill, the highest point in the park, overlooking South Harting to the north and Uppark house to the south-west.

The tower is constructed of red brick with hollow buttresses at each corner, stone pinnacles and pointed windows. It originally had a kitchen on the ground floor and a guest-room or viewing platform on the first floor reached by an external ramp. However only the ground floor features now survive. Surrounding the tower is a small ditch, which may be a haha.
Vandalian Tower was designed by Henry Keene for Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh in about 1770 and erected on an earthen mound (or mount). It was built to commemorate a scheme, in which Sir Matthew had a share, for the projected exploitation of a territory in West Virginia which had been purchased from the Iroquois Indians. This territory was to be called Vandalia, and the tower was in consequence called the Vandalian Tower. Sir Matthew, having commissioned the tower, died in 1774, and the Vandalian venture collapsed on the outbreak of the war with America in 1775. The Hellfire Club is thought to have met at the site. The tower was partly destroyed by fire in 1842 and the ruins were stabilised in 1982.

It is Grade II listed and is part of a Grade II* registered Park and Garden.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The use of ornamental towers, such as a belvedere or folly, were a significant element of post-medieval garden design between the 16th and 18th centuries. They were usually sited on earthen mounds (or mounts) as vantage points in which to view the house and gardens.

Although part-destroyed in the 19th century and now in ruin, the 18th century Vandalian Tower in Uppark forms a significant part of the Grade II* registered Park and Garden. It has group value with the nearby Grade I listed Uppark house and associated buildings. The tower, sited at the highest point in Uppark, provides commanding views over the extensive pleasure grounds, parkland, ornamental gardens and further south towards the coast and Isle of Wight.

It is an important element of the 18th century park altered to designs by Lancelot Brown, one of England’s finest Landscape Architects, which is well-recorded in documentary sources. The Vandalian Tower was a symbol of the distinguished status of the owners of Uppark. It holds historical interest as a testament to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh’s commercial interests in America and as a reputed meeting place of The Hellfire Club, the popular name for a number of exclusive clubs for aristocratic rakes in the 18th century.

Source: Historic England


West Sussex HER 200 - MWS5935. NMR SU71NE48. PastScape 242561. LBS 301800

Source: Historic England

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