|Rather sadly in retrospect, I never saw Freston Tower during my six years at WHS, yet it is reputed to be "possibly the oldest folly in England". It is a beautifully odd but stunning construction with magnificent views over the river and now a holiday home. YES! You can holiday on the 6th floor of Freston Tower! Amazing, but this whole area is rich in history.
FROM WIKIPEDIA: "Arguably the oldest folly in England, the tower has various claims for construction dates, ranging from the 15th to 17th centuries."
There is a legend that the tower was built by "Lord de Freston" in the 15th century for his daughter Ellen, so she could study a different subject on a different floor six days of the week: the 1st floor was dedicated to reception, the 2nd to tapestry working, the 3rd to music, the 4th to painting, the 5th to literature and the 6th to astronomy, complete with instruments for taking observations."This was written about in a novel by Reverend Richard Cobbold entitled Freston Tower and so should not be taken as fact. There is much evidence against this legend, such as documents apparently referring to the construction of the tower within the twelve years preceding 1569, and it is likely that the tower was constructed by Edmond Latymer as a lookout over Freston Reach of the River Orwell. There are further descriptions suggesting a construction date of 1655.
The Landmark Trust, a historical building preservation charity and the current owner of Freston Tower, suggests the tower "was built in 1578 by a wealthy Ipswich merchant called Thomas Gooding"
PS The Latimer (now Latymer) family owened an estate in Freston.