Mistley Towers, Essex

The small town of Mistley stands on the south bank of the estuary of the Stour east of Manningtree and not far from Flatford Mill where Constable painted The Haywain.

In the 18th Century one Richard Rigby decided to turn Mistley into a major spa town. One of the first things he did was employ famed architect Robert Adam to build a massive church, St. Mary the Virgin. This was started in 1776 with a tower at each end of the church crowned by a dome. Rigby's plans came to nothing when he was disgraced and lost his fortune and his position.

In 1870 a new parish church was built and, incredibly when you think of it, the centre of Adam's church was pulled down leaving only these two rather incongrous looking towers standing by the waterside.

The Towers are now owned by English Heritage.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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