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Layer Marney Tower, Nr Colchester, Essex

This incomplete Grade I red-brick Tudor Palace was built by Henry, First Lord Marney, Henry VIII's Lord Privy and has stories to tell from nearly 500 years of history. It is known that Henry VIII came to stay, suspected that Elizabeth I dropped by for a brief rest and had a glorious Edwardian period.

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The range of buildings is about 300 feet long, with the tower stretching 80 feet high. Layer Marney Tower is the tallest Tudor gatehouse in the country. Although it has had many owners, it has always been a family home - each family rich enough to live there but not rich enough to change it.

The house stands in a lovely garden with the church containing the tombs of the Marney family close by. The wooden Essex Barn predates the house. There are two new exhibitions in the tower, Crowns and Crests from Knights of the Garter 1953-2003 and Pictures from East Anglian Artists from the Victor Batte Laye Trust.

Tour features

The tour will be from one end of the building to the other, going through the private parts of the family home as well as some of the larger rooms not open to the general visitor. It is mainly on the ground and first floor and follows a different route to any other tours. Most tours are arranged on days when the place opens in an afternoon which allows you to return to as a normal visitor to the tower, gardens and church at no extra cost, until 5pm.

December tour features the house decorated for Christmas.


Although technically intruding into a private house we were made most welcome. They passed on their enthusiasm to us and all of a sudden it was 5 o’clock ... Even though the weather was not good, everyone had a brilliant time!! Our guided tour was the best ever (and we have been around!) and everyone loved the house and tower.


From London and the West: Leave the A12 at the Kelvedon turning (B1024). Drive through Kelvedon, crossing the river, and at the top of the hill turn right to Maldon and Tiptree (B1023). Follow this road for about two miles to a T-junction. Turn left to Colchester (B1022). Turn right after 2 miles, at the signpost to Layer Marney Tower. Follow the Brown Tourist signs to the Tower.

From Ipswich and the East: Turn off the A12 at the Halstead exit (B1124). Follow the signs to Maldon, through the “new builds” and at the B1022 turn right towards Tiptree and Maldon. After two miles you will see, on the right, the entrance to Birch Quarry, and soon after turn left at the Brown Tourist sign to Layer Marney Tower. Go straight over the cross-roads and down the lane to the Layer Marney Tower entrance

Location map
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Useful information

Price £20.00
Duration 2 hours

Coffee/tea and traybake. December tour includes mince pies.

Special restrictions

No dogs on the tour. Because our properties are old and fragile, unfortunately we cannot include children under 14.

Disabled access

Ground floor and some first floor. There are gravel paths.

Tour dates

Date Time Availability
Sun 16 Dec 2:30 pm Spaces available


To book a tour of this property on one of the tour dates click the tour booking button below. To request a group visit of this property with your party or club on a specific date click the Request a group visit button.

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