The Vandalian Tower, Up Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1005807

Date first listed: 26-Nov-1976


Ordnance survey map of The Vandalian Tower, Up Park
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Harting

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 78530 18235


The Vandalian Tower in Uppark, 389m north of The Garden Cottage.

Reasons for Designation

The use of ornamental towers, such as a belvedere or folly, were a significant element of post-medieval garden design between the 16th and 18th centuries. They were usually sited on earthen mounds (or mounts) as vantage points in which to view the house and gardens.

Although part-destroyed in the 19th century and now in ruin, the 18th century Vandalian Tower in Uppark forms a significant part of the Grade II* registered Park and Garden. It has group value with the nearby Grade I listed Uppark house and associated buildings. The tower, sited at the highest point in Uppark, provides commanding views over the extensive pleasure grounds, parkland, ornamental gardens and further south towards the coast and Isle of Wight.

It is an important element of the 18th century park altered to designs by Lancelot Brown, one of England’s finest Landscape Architects, which is well-recorded in documentary sources. The Vandalian Tower was a symbol of the distinguished status of the owners of Uppark. It holds historical interest as a testament to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh’s commercial interests in America and as a reputed meeting place of The Hellfire Club, the popular name for a number of exclusive clubs for aristocratic rakes in the 18th century.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the ruins of an 18th century ornamental tower in Uppark. It is situated at the summit of Tower Hill, the highest point in the park, overlooking South Harting to the north and Uppark house to the south-west.

The tower is constructed of red brick with hollow buttresses at each corner, stone pinnacles and pointed windows. It originally had a kitchen on the ground floor and a guest-room or viewing platform on the first floor reached by an external ramp. However only the ground floor features now survive. Surrounding the tower is a small ditch, which may be a haha. Vandalian Tower was designed by Henry Keene for Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh in about 1770 and erected on an earthen mound (or mount). It was built to commemorate a scheme, in which Sir Matthew had a share, for the projected exploitation of a territory in West Virginia which had been purchased from the Iroquois Indians. This territory was to be called Vandalia, and the tower was in consequence called the Vandalian Tower. Sir Matthew, having commissioned the tower, died in 1774, and the Vandalian venture collapsed on the outbreak of the war with America in 1775. The Hellfire Club is thought to have met at the site. The tower was partly destroyed by fire in 1842 and the ruins were stabilised in 1982.

It is Grade II listed and is part of a Grade II* registered Park and Garden.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: WS 437

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


West Sussex HER 200 - MWS5935. NMR SU71NE48. PastScape 242561. LBS 301800

End of official listing