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SOS Africa to Host 160ft Charity Abseil from King


Wednesday 5 April, 2023

This summer SOS Africa will host a 160ft charity abseil fundraising event from King Alfred’s Tower at Stourhead! Taking place on the 9th,10th 16th & 17th
September 2023, the abseil event will be the charity’s highest to date and the first time that this iconic historical venue will be open to public abseiling courtesy of the National Trust.

Throughout this highly anticipated 4-day charity abseil, brave fundraisers from across the Southwest and beyond will climb the tower’s 205 steps and descend from the top of this iconic monument dressed as their favourite historical figures. Before touching down at the base of the tower they will be able to savour breath-taking views across the surrounding counties.

Built by Stourhead Estate Owner Henry Hoare II in 1772, the folly was constructed at the site of Egbert’s Stone, the folkloric landmark where Alfred the Great rallied his Saxon troops in 878AD to hold off a Saxon invasion. Constructed with over a million red bricks, the tower has become the pride of the 2650-acre Stourhead Estate.

Since it was first founded by Shepton Mallet student Dr Matt Crowcombe in 2003, each year Somerset’s SOS Africa Children’s Charity and experienced instructors Aardvark Endeavours have hosted fundraising challenges from iconic venues from across the southwest of England including Glastonbury Festival Pyramid Stage, Shepton Mallet Prison and Wells Cathedral, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds to educate disadvantaged children in South Africa.

“SOS Africa’s Alfred’s Tower event will be the charity’s most challenging abseil to date from one of the most well-known monuments in the southwest. Growing up in Shepton Mallet and Bruton, there were few moments when I could not see the tower standing proudly on the horizon. We are extremely grateful to the National Trust for embracing this exciting event and we cannot wait to start raising funds for 2 very important causes.”

Dr Matt Crowcombe (CEO/Founder, SOS Africa)

Stourhead General Manager Philip Niemand has supported the event from its inception and cannot wait to welcome the brave abseilers to Alfred’s Tower this September:

“Alfred’s Tower was built 250 years ago, reputedly marking the spot where King Alfred raised his standard and rallied his troops before setting off to defeat the Vikings at the battle of Eddington. This moment in time started our societal journey of freedom and democracy. We now have an exciting opportunity to raise valuable awareness of and funds for communities that are not as fortunate. The SOS Africa Abseil from the Tower is itself a unique call to action, an opportunity to join the charity’s most challenging event to date from one of the most iconic monuments in the Southwest, raising funds for two very important causes.”

Philip Niemand (General Manager, Stourhead)

To participate, each abseiler is required to pay a £20 deposit to cover Aardvark Endeavours Instructors fees and raise £100 per person. To enter as an individual or team, please contact Event Organiser Matt Crowcombe by email ( or visit:

This is likely to be a popular event and places will be limited so we recommend signing up and sending your deposit as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Thank you for your support and we look forward to welcoming you to the top of King Alfred’s Tower in September…

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