Racton Monument

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Racton Monument
Racton Tower - Monument, West Sussex - geograph.org.uk - 1113942.jpg
LocationRacton, West Sussex, England
Coordinates50°52′46″N 0°53′51″W / 50.879454°N 0.897617°W / 50.879454; -0.897617Coordinates: 50°52′46″N 0°53′51″W / 50.879454°N 0.897617°W / 50.879454; -0.897617
Built1766–75
Governing bodyChichester District Council
Reference no.974896[1]
Listed Building – Grade II
Racton Monument is located in West Sussex
Racton Monument
Location of Racton Monument within West Sussex

Racton Monument (known locally as Racton Ruin) is a folly situated on a hill in Racton, West Sussex, England with spectactular views over Chichester Harbour and to the Isle of Wight. It was commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Halifax, possibly as a summerhouse for the nearby Stansted Estate, though an alternative theory suggests it could have been constructed so the Earl could watch his merchant ships dock at the nearby port village of Emsworth. Another theory is that the Earl built it as a viewing tower to watch for his son's return from an ill-fated voyage.

It was designed by architect Theodosius Keene, son of Henry Keene, and constructed between 1766 and 1775.[1] It was designed with a triangular base, with a round turret at each angle. Of a red brick construction, the building was originally faced with flints and stood four storeys high (80 feet (24 m)), a height it retains to this day. However, it has been abandoned for over a century and is in a state of ruin, with the floors and much of the original flint facing having disappeared, and its roof caving in.[1]

It is owned by a private owner (Mark Talbot RIBA) who had planning permission to turn the monument into a dwelling, though these plans are yet to materialise.[2] Its isolated nature, being set away from populated places and major roads, has led to several cases of suicide at the monument, most recently in 2009.[3] Occult acts are known to take place on occasion there. The monument is also popular with paranormal investigators visiting to investigate reported paranormal activity at the site. Witnesses claim to have seen bricks thrown from above, heard ghostly shouts, and intrigue surrounds the myth that the folly may have been used by smugglers.[citation needed]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Racton Monument". National Monuments Record. English Heritage. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Plans to convert 'haunted' castle on hill into a home". Portsmouth News. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Recession to blame for 'party bus' driver's death, claim family". Portsmouth News. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2011.