The first record of any tower type structure is during the reign of King George III (1760) when a wooden tower was erected to provide both a landmark and a place from which to take in some of the best views available. It is thought that this tower was erected to mark his accession to the Throne. Owing to its wooden construction in such an exposed area, it only lasted about 25 years before being demolished.
In 1788, Francis Hurt had a conical limestone tower with a wooden top constructed on the site of the old tower. However, by about 1843 the conical tower was then in such a poor state of repair that a decision was taken to rebuild, and in 1849 some of the stones of this conical tower were used to build the base of the new circular tower that was built from grit stone.
In June of 1882 there was a major landslide in the area of the quarry which had a serious subsidence effect on the tower. Lightning strikes and further minor movements of the ground in the immediate area resulted in the closing of the tower to the public for reasons of safety.
On October 15th, 1914, a relative of the builder of the original 1788 tower, interestingly enough bearing the same name: Francis Hurt, sold an area of the hilltop to the Clay Cross Company. A condition of the sale stated that the 'Crich Stand' as it was known locally, was to be taken down and rebuilt close by in more or less the same form. The Great War would delay the demolition and rebuilding programme. It was not until 1922, some three years after the end of the Great War that work started when the stones were carefully removed and numbered for re-use.
The Architect who designed the Memorial Tower, Lieutenant Colonel Brewill, unfortunately died before the Tower was completed in 1923, but his son, Captain L C Brewill, carried out the supervision of the building to its completion. It must have been quite a task considering the dome which sits on the top of the Tower weighs some forty tons.
The memorial tower was officially opened a 4.00 pm on Monday 6th August 1923. The ceremony was carried out by the Colonel of the Regiment General Sir Horace L Smith-Dorrien, His Grace the Duke of Portland, His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, Admiral Salmon and the Bishop of Southwell.