|Tudor-style chimneys are impressive|
|The Chained Dog - emblem of the Radar Research Group under Robert Watson Watt |
Bawdsey Manor stands in a magnificent position on a red crag, Pleistocene clliff overlooking the River Deben Estuary on the Suffolk Heritage Coast. The fossil-bearing cliff is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The land belonged to the Earls of Dysart when, in 1809, Martello Tower V was constructed against the invasion of Hollesley Bay by Napoleon. Across the Deben, towers T & U are clearly visible, but the footprint of V now forms part of the formal gardens at Bawdsey manor created by the Quilters.
The Estate was acquired in 1873 by William Cuthbert Quilter, a local landowner, stockbroker and MP for South Suffolk. On the cliff he built a large seaside home in Victorian Gothic style. Over the next 20 years he developed the house as his principal residence adding towers and facades in Flemish, Tudor/Jacobean, French chateaux and Oriental styles to accommodate his growing family and lavish house parties. He also acquired 8,000 acres of land on the north bank of the river as far as Sutton Hoo, and at Bawdsey Manor built magnificant stables for his Suffolk Punch horses. Lady Quilter was the inspiration behind the extensive formal gardens, large Victorian kitchen garden, and most importantly, the 110 metre artificial cliff and rockery created by the Pulham factory.
In 1936 Bawdsey Manor became a top-secret research establishment for the MOD and it was here that Sir Robert Watson Watt and his team developed the new RADAR technology. It was here too that the first of the Chain Home Low towers was constructed as part of a series of radar stations that protected Britain during the Second World War.
After the War, Bawdsey Manor remained in the hands of the MOD as a training school until 1994 when it was bought by the present owners, the Toettcher family.
Across the Deben are two of the Martello Towers built to defend against invasion by Napolean. The footprint left by a third Tower now forms part of the formal gardens.