ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Paxton's Tower — or Nelson's Monument — Llanarthney, Wales: remembering Lord Nelson, or Sir William Paxton?

Updated on January 23, 2015
Flag of Wales
Flag of Wales | Source
Paxton's Tower. A publicly accessible folly
Paxton's Tower. A publicly accessible folly | Source
Paxton's Tower seen from across the River Tywi.
Paxton's Tower seen from across the River Tywi. | Source
"Samuel Pepys Cockerell," soft-ground etching, by the English artist William Daniell, 28 July 1793 (possibly published in 1854). 10 7/8 in. x 8 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
"Samuel Pepys Cockerell," soft-ground etching, by the English artist William Daniell, 28 July 1793 (possibly published in 1854). 10 7/8 in. x 8 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. | Source
Admiral Horatio Nelson, by John Hoppner
Admiral Horatio Nelson, by John Hoppner | Source

A hilltop folly

This Tower, in Llanarthney (Welsh: Llanarthne), Carmarthenshire (Welsh: Sir Gaerfyrddin) dating from c. 1806/09 (1), is widely referred to as Paxton's Tower by local people, its official name is supposed to be the Nelson Monument.

Although this structure, now in the care of the National Trust, has a banqueting hall (minus a kitchen!), it is not a permanently habitable building. It would come into the category of a folly, even though some people might refer to it as a small castle. Its architect was S P Cockerell (1753-1827).

In neo-Gothic style, features include the presence of pointed arching and a triangular shape, with round turrets at each corner, and roof terraces. It overlooks the Towy (Welsh: Tywi) Valley, and is very conspicuous at its location on a hill near Llanarthey. It attains a height of 10.8 metres from its base.

Back to its name: the word 'Paxton' refers to Sir William Paxton (1744-1824). Born in Scotland, Sir William's local connections were extensive. He was Mayor of nearby Carmarthen (Welsh: Caerfyrddin), represented Carmarthen as its Member of Parliament and was also responsible for the development of the Welsh coastal town of Tenby (Welsh:Dinbych-y-Pysgod) as a resort.

When news of the death of Admiral Lord Nelson reverberated around the British Empire in 1805, this caused Sir William Paxton to determine to sponsor a memorial in Nelson's honour, to be built on his Middleton Estate (see also below). This motivation is supported by the notion that Sir William may have been personally acquainted with Nelson. But other suggestions have also been made to the effect that Sir William, an ambitious man, who had lost a local election in 1802, chose to use money that he would have spent on local infrastructure, if elected, on a visible reminder to local electors about their lack of 'wisdom' in not having elected him! (3)

But with the passage of years, what was ostensibly a structure to mark the reputation of Admiral Lord Nelson, became known as Paxton's Tower and thus in practice more of a commemoration of Sir William Paxton, at least, in practice, if not in theory. I wonder: how many local people who refer to the conspicuous structure as 'Paxton's Tower' need to be reminded of its official name?

Anyway, this is what Sir William Paxton inscribed on the Tower:

To the invincible Commander, Viscount Nelson, in commemoration of the deeds before the walls of Copenhagen, and on the shores of Spain; of the empire every where maintained by him over the Seas; and of the death which in the fulness of his own glory, though ultimately for his own country and for Europe, conquering, he died; this tower was erected by William Paxton.

January 23, 2015


(1) Estimates of the dates of its building vary considerably, but it is known that the death of Lord Nelson in 1805 provoked the idea of a structure in his memory.

(2) Other works by Architect Cockerell include Admiralty House, Whitehall, London (where Sir Winston Churchill resident during his two terms as First Lord of the Admiralty), and much of the architecture in the London suburb of Bayswater.

(3) See also:

Map location of Carmarthenshire
Map location of Carmarthenshire | Source

Also worth seeing

In Llanarthney itself, Sir William Paxton's Middleton Hall was destroyed by fire in 1931; today, his former Estate at Llanarthney hosts the National Botanic Garden (Welsh: Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol Cymru).

Carmarthen (distance: 13.5 kilometres) Carmarthen Castle is a partly ruined Medieval edifice in the Downtown area; Trinity University College is housed in a fine Victorian structure.

Carreg Cennen Castle (distance: approx. 11.5 kilometres), near the town of Llandeilo, this ancient castle has a particularly craggy appearance.


How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport , from where car rental is available. London Heathrow is 317 kilometres from Llanarthney. Rail services exists between London Paddington railroad station and Carmarthen (distance between Llanarthney and Carmarthen: 13.5 kilometres). Car rental company is also available in Carmarthen. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)