Back to Old John    Bradgate Park & Old John











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The Windmill



The Racecourse



The Stable




  The Bonfire  

In 1786 the 5th Earl built a huge bonfire on the Hill to celebrate his son, Henry's 21st birthday. It is said to have been made of 11 wagon loads of hardwood, 5 tons of coal, barrels of tar and faggots and brushwood piled around a central pole. The blaze was seen from neighbouring counties.

At the height of the celebrations, the pole burnt through, falling amongst the guests, killing an old retainer called John (who could he have been the old miller?)

The Earl then decreed that the Tower be named in John's memory. Many years later adding the 'handle' - knowing the old man's liking for ale, making the Tower look like a tankard.

  These pictures are published by kind permission of The Bradgate Park Trust and are subject to Copyright.
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