Layer Marney Tower and Grounds
No visit to Layer Marney is complete without climbing to the top of the Tower. Although there are 99 steps, it is quite an easy climb, with stopping off places on the way up and down where you can sit and rest awhile. The climb is worth it, there is a magnificent view and on a clear day you can see for miles, a perfect look out across the Blackwater River which meanders from Maldon down to the estuary. The next big river south from the Blackwater is the Thames. From the top of the Tower, you get a good view of the gardens below.
Click on the titles below to read about each area to visit.
Climb up the Historic Tower
Layer Marney Tower is a statement house, Henry VIII expected his courtiers to have grand houses. The Tower is made of red bricks, clay was probably brought in from a few miles away, chosen for its rich colour. Black glazed bricks are intermingled for decoration, this pattern method is called diapering. There is no local stone, so to make his house look grand, Lord Manrey used buff coloured terracotta decorations. Terracotta means baked clay. The terracotta can be seen around the windows and on the crenellations. The Tower was probably designed and possibly built by Italian craftsmen.
See the Beautiful Gardens
The Layer Marney Tower is the ideal place to visit for beautiful Gardens in Essex. The garden has interest and perfume for much of the year; roses particularly love the heavy clay soil and warm south facing aspect and put on a glorious display throughout the summer. A knot garden harks back to the Tudors who built the house, although the garden doesn’t seem to have been significantly developed until the Victorian era. There are some beautiful and unusual trees growing in the lawns on which visitors are welcome to picnic.
See the Animals at the Farm
A circular walk (available from the shop) takes the visitor past some of them. We have chickens, pygmy goats and Castle Milk Moorit sheep grazing in the park. Two horses graze alongside the sheep. We sometimes have a few pigs who are generally very friendly. Follow the walk down towards our Glamping encampments (posh camping) to walk around the deer field with Red Deer and sometimes more sheep. You will walk through woodland, round field margins and by the Layer Brook, the various habitats providing cover for birds and small animals. There are guinea fowl, pheasants and partridge. In summer, lots of dragon flies on the pond. We often have owls nesting, either in the barns or the two nest boxes. It is a tranquil walk and often there are good bird watching opportunities.
Enjoy Refreshments in the Tea Room
Our tea room serves teas, coffees and cakes, light lunches and afternoon teas. Once the Edwardian stables, the Tea Room is a welcome stop on your tour round the Tower and grounds.
Don’t Leave Empty Handed
The gift shop has souvenirs of your visit to Layer Marney Tower, post cards, guide books, toys and gifts.