Layer Marney Tower

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Layer Marney Tower near Colchester in Essex is the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in the UK, a magnificent building standing 80 feet tall within stunning grounds.

The Tower stands on the shores of the river Blackwater, and construction was initiated by Lord Henry Marney in the 1520s, a close friend of Henry VIII. The Gatehouse and ranges which were continued by his son after his death were supposed to be part of a grand palace, but construction ceased after his son's death. What stands today is a glimpse into the luxurious aspirations of a 16th century lord, now a family-run venue which opens its doors to the public at certain times of the year, and it still does not fail to impress.

Events run throughout the year, often on Bank holidays or weekends, are always a fun mix of historic and contemporary activities:

- Guided Tours of the tower are run by Sheila and Nick Charrington, the owners of Layer Marney Tower
- Plays, shows and re-enactments are often put on in the grounds, with costumes to make you wonder what century you have travelled to.
- Join in with lamb feeding in the grounds' farm
- Attend the village fete or fairs, as well as live music and concerts
-  If camping's not for you, then try glamping in Layer Marney Tower Grounds. It's all the excitement and wildness of camping, with less cold showers and bugs.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Adults £10.00 per person
Children (13+ and students) £7.00 per person


Sunday, 4th June 2023 - Sunday, 4th June 2023

A Celebration of MusicAn interesting selection of instruments from the tiny garklein to the very large contrabass, plus The Alleyn Court Ensemble and Senior Choir, Violin and guitar duo Fiddlenfrets and a recorder duo.
more info

Wednesday, 7th June 2023 - Wednesday, 7th June 2023

A midsummer night's dreamJoin the massively popular HandleBards as they make a welcome return to Layer Marney Tower. Gloriously eccentric and entertaining play performed in the great outdoors, surrounded by gardens and wonderful views.
more info

Sunday, 11th June 2023 - Sunday, 11th June 2023

Essex Book FestivalAuthors Leo McKinstry, Rosie Hart and Alison Weir talk about their latest publications. A rich assortment of history books from Tudors to World War II and the royal wardrobe.
more info

Sunday, 30th July 2023 - Sunday, 30th July 2023

NightingaleNew Creations Collective make a welcome return to Layer Marney Tower with their brand new biographical ballet based on the life and works of Florence Nightingale.
more info



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Wheelchairs available

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site


  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome

Group Travel

  • Out of Hours Visits


  • Coach parking
  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for Coach Driver
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Bar area
  • Board/Flipchart
  • Business support
  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality
  • Grounds for outdoor activities
  • Helicopter landing
  • Mobile phone coverage
  • Sole use of venue
  • Venue approved for civil marriage
  • Wedding receptions


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Dogs Accepted
  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours for individuals
  • Onsite Catering
  • Public toilets
  • Smoking not allowed

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By car: Layer Marney Tower is a 20mins drive from Colchester town centre, off Maldon Road on the way to Tiptree.  

Public Transport Directions

By Bus: The 75 bus from Colchester Town Centre will take you to Smythe's Green, a 20min walk from Layer Marney Tower. The nearest railway station is Kelvedon, which is 6 miles away.

Layer Marney Tower

Type:Historic House

Layer Marney, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9US

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 142 reviews142 reviews
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Call direct on:

Tel01206 330784


  • Other AwardsHistoric Houses Association Member Historic Houses Association Member 2019

Opening Times

Season (16 Apr 2023 - 19 July 2023)
Monday - TuesdayClosed
Thursday - SaturdayClosed
Season (23 July 2023 - 31 Aug 2023)
Monday - ThursdayOpen
Friday - SaturdayClosed
Season (3 Sept 2023 - 1 Nov 2023)
Monday - TuesdayClosed
Thursday - SaturdayClosed


May – June Sunday & Wednesday
July – Sept Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
September Sunday & Wednesday
Opening times 11am – 5pm
Layer Marney Tower is open to the public on Mondays and Sundays in May and June, as well as on special occasions such as Heritage Open Days and Invitation to View.
It can be hired out privately for weddings and functions throughout the year.

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