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Last Updated: Monday, 2 August, 2004, 05:17 GMT 06:17 UK
Doomed literary tower to be moved
Clavell Tower
Thomas Hardy used the tower for romantic trysts with his first love
A tower which inspired novelists PD James and Thomas Hardy is to be dismantled and moved to stop it crumbling into the sea.

Clavell Tower is perched perilously close to the edge of cliffs at Kimmeridge in Dorset.

Purbeck District Council has approved a plan by The Landmark Trust to move the former lookout tower brick by brick and rebuild it 25 metres inland.

The Landmark Trust has yet to raise the 550,000 needed to carry out the plan.

Literary tower

A spokesman from The Landmark Trust said: "Clavell Tower's only hope is that we will be able to move it to a new position.

"Clavell Tower would then continue to play its original role within the landscape with a new and sustainable future as a landmark.

"Unless we achieve this, the tower will fall into the sea."

Thomas Hardy used to take his first love, Eliza Nicholl, to the tower and used a picture of it for the cover of his Wessex Poems.

PD James used the haunting building as the setting for her novel The Black Tower.

Also known as the Tower of the Winds, it was built in 1830 by the Reverend John Richards Clavell of Smedmore, who used it as an observatory for looking out over Kimmeridge Bay.

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