MDE20953 - Duty Point Tower, north of Lee Abbey (Building)


A mid 19th Century folly, built to overlook the Bristol Channel.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Duty Point Tower, near Lee Bay. A mid 19th Century 2 stage lookout tower near the cliff edge, square, with buttresses and battlemented parapet, and with staircase turret. It is constructed from stone. Local landmark. [1] The tower is 8 to 9 metres high on the tallest side, which includes the chimney. Its internal measurement is 3.45 metres. The building is of dressed stone and in good condition. The tower has been reroofed at some time, organised original roof pitched inwards northwest to southeast with internal drainage. The upper storey ceiling is constructed from wood. The windows are now glazed. There is a fireplace on the ground floor in the southwest corner. Benching on ground floor put in 3 years ago made from fallen estate trees. The doorway is on the southeast side. Externally on the southeast side there is one alcove in a buttress, possibly a seat. [2] Duty point tower was built as a folly to Lee Abbey by CF Bailey. (3) The tower may be depicted on the Tithe Map of 1841, although this is not entirely clear. Charles Bailey purchased Ley and North Grounds in 1841 and had greatly extended the house by 1850 re-naming it Lee Abbey, and the tower was most likely built as a folly around this time. Square tower of local rubble stone with a hard lime mortar, diagonal buttresses to three corners which do not appear to be tied into main structure. The chimney is decorated with niches and a gargoyle like stone animal head. Flat roofed bay to south with 2-light window and 3-light windows to west and north. Plained arched entrance on east with small arched window above at high level. Internally there is a simple square room with an open fireplace, thin concrete floor, original centre valley roof (with internal drainage) replaced by a flat roof, remains of a suspended ceiling or mezzanine structure presumably reached by a ladder. Timber softwood window frames, all windows fixed. Arched niche with glazed tile sill above open fireplace, niche on side of chiney breast. Plank bench to side of fireplace. Lime rendered walls internally. No services. [4] The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 5A. [5] Duty Point Tower is depicted and labelled on 2020 MasterMap data. [6]

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: Lynton (3 September 1973) 1.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Goodwin, N.. 1989. Worksheet.
  • <3> Report: Wisnicka, A.. 2009. Lee Abbey: Historical Appraisal. Main House and the Site. Alina Wisnicka.
  • <4> Report: Wisnicka, A.. 2013. Duty Point Tower, Lee Abbey, Lynton, The Conservation Plan.
  • <5> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <6>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #38592 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 6955 4952 (8m by 9m) MasterMap
Map sheet SS64NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (4)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 858/1/1/63
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 24032
  • Devon SMR: SS64NE/72
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (20-50)
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (50-100)

Record last edited

Mar 1 2022 11:49AM


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