@ Belvedere Tower, Devon.
Built between 1771 and 1774 for the second Viscount Courtenay, the three-sided structure was the crowning glory of a major re-landscaping of the castle grounds. The three-storey building offered unrivalled views over the Exe Estuary, providing a unique vantage point from which to view the busy shipping lanes between Topsham and Exmouth. The Belvedere served as a ballroom for the family too, with a sprung rosewood floor – a perfect venue for the entertainments of the Viscount’s thirteen daughters.
The Belvedere later became a gamekeeper’s cottage and also inspired the copycat Haldon Belvedere, at nearby Lawrence Castle. Unfortunately neglect, vandalism, and a disastrous fire after World War II threw the building into ruin; it has been empty and derelict ever since and has long been on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
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