The Storm Tower is in serious danger due to ongoing coastal erosion of the Compass Point cliffs below, if left untouched the elements will claim the tower and this local landmark will be lost forever.
An historical icon of Bude, the Storm Tower sits on overwatch proudly above Bude Bay. Originally designed by architect, George Wightwick, in 1835 for Sir Thomas Acland, as a refuge for the coastguard and for ornamental purposes. This iconic octagonal tower was modelled by Wightwick on the ‘Temple of the Winds’ at Athens, and stands on a plinth with 3 granite steps leading up to the entrance on the east side with points of the compass carved into the structure.
With constant coastal erosion taking place at Compass Point, it was only a matter of time before the Storm Tower would need to be relocated. Originally moved inland to its current position in 1881, 140 years later the Storm Tower is again teetering on the edge of the cliff, exposed to the perils of the sea below. Its future existence remains uncertain unless sufficient funding can be raised to move the building inland once again.
First registered as a Grade II listed building in 1985, extensive work started last year with the completion of the Heritage Impact Assessment, arranged by Bude-Stratton Town Council and funded by Cornwall Council. This outlined suitable options for the safe movement of the Storm Tower inland by approximately 100 meters. Part of Efford Down, the land upon which the Storm Tower sits, and indeed the building itself, is leased to Cornwall Council on a 500-year term. On Thursday 14th January 2021, Bude-Stratton Town Council voted unanimously in favour of supporting The Compass Point Project.
With the estimated cost totalling £350,000 raising the funds to move the Storm Tower must start in earnest, Cornwall Council have pledged £50,000 towards the project with Bude-Stratton Town Council initiating a crowd funding campaign to raise up to £75,000 as well as matching pound for pound up to £25,000. The Town Council has also agreed to make an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the remaining amount required.
If both the Heritage Lottery Fund application and crowd funding campaign are successful, work on moving the Grade II listed building can start to take place. However, time is of the essence, as the cliff continues to erode below and makes the land around the Storm Tower less stable, work to preserve it from an untimely fall into the sea is harder to undertake.
Standing proudly on our headland and viewable for miles to see, we know how meaningful the Storm Tower is to the people of Bude, its surrounding villages and many thousands of regular visitors. Not only does it hold a special place in the heart of our community, it is also a symbol of our seafaring heritage. We want to preserve this icon for many more generations to come, and we need your help to do so.
How can I help?
The simplest and most effective way to support The Compass Point Project is to donate to the Crowdfunding page directly and will help us on our way to securing the future of Bude’s very unique icon.
Raising awareness of the Compass Point Project will be an ongoing task as we look to engage lovers of Bude, from right here in our community to those far and wide who love and visit the area year after year.
We are calling on you, our community to help get this project off the ground and ‘Save Our Storm Tower’! Tell your friends! Thank you for your support.
Should the Lottery Heritage Bid be unsuccessful or the project is unable to go ahead for any reason outside of our control, any funds raised towards this project will be donated to The Friends of Bude Sea Pool, Bude for the preservation and upkeep of this local landmark and asset.
Video & Photo rights: BSTC