The Ozanne Tower
Andrew Dyke, NTG’s Building Advisor, describes The Ozanne Tower as “a lovely little building”.
NTG purchased the Ozanne Tower at Ruette de la Tour, Castel (Perry’s Guide Page 8, B4) from the States Water Board.
Ozanne Tower is an imposing square-shaped grey granite structure. It was built as a folly in the mid 19th century by the Ozanne family whose family home, Les Mourains, is opposite Saumarez Park. The Ozanne family coat-of-arms is clearly visible above the entrance door of the tower.
The tower has magnificent views over the west coast of Guernsey. The exact year in which the folly was purchased by the de Saumarez family is unknown but was probably towards the end of the 19th century. Lord de Saumarez turned the tower into a museum containing objects he had collected whilst posted abroad, including a brick from the Great Wall of China.
Ownership of the Tower remained with the de Saumarez family until 1938 when the estate was split up and Saumarez Park and outlying land sold to the States of Guernsey. During the German Occupation, the Tower was used as a lookout for an anti aircraft battery located close by. In 1980, the then States Archaeology Officer expressed a view that the base stones of the Tower could be part of a prehistoric tomb. The elevated hill on which the Tower stands would have been an ideal site for Iron Age defence and, in 1982, pottery dating c. 500-400 BC, was found in the vicinity.
The Ozanne Tower has been purchased as a very rare example of a folly which is worthy of preservation and restoration.