Preliminary designs and designs for Briesley Tower, 1777, Adam volumes 19/156-158 as executed (4)
Two miles north-west of Alnwick itself is Briesley Tower. Designed by Adam in his Gothic revival style, and built in local grey sandstone, the tower was completed in 1781, rising nearly 600 feet above sea level. The work was executed in accordance with Adam’s design and survives in situ. It has been suggested that the tower was built as a memorial to king Malcolm II who died nearby in battle in 1093, but it is more likely simply a viewing tower. 73 feet high, the tower contains a spiral staircase of 129 steps leading to a balcony from which you can see the sea and numerous other local landmarks. Beard has identified the probable mason as Vincent Shepherd (c1750-1812), with interior plasterwork by Joseph Rose. There are a further five drawings to the same design within the collection at Alnwick Castle.