T-Minus 10 Seconds

Often resembling a stationary rocket on the horizon, the wind-battered Darwen tower in Lancashire, England was completed in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. For the locals, it also signified their victory for the right to access the moor after an 18 year feud against the Lord of the manor of Over Darwen who had blocked access to the land. The tower can be seen for miles around, exposing it to winds from all directions of the county. In 1947 the original wooden turret on top of the tower was blown off in a gale and was not replaced until 1971 after local fund-raising. Then after more damage in later years the tower was closed to the public for 19 months due to being deemed unsafe for use. A survey in spring 2001 found that the structure had severe decay in the stone decking. To add insult to injury, the tower dome was blown off yet again by strong winds during the winter of 2010. A replacement stainless steel dome made was then winched into place by helicopter in 2012. Whether or not it will last any longer than the previous two remains to be seen.