architecture, Art, Banqueting House, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, sham castle, Summerhouse, Temple, Tower

Christopher Gee’s views of follies.

The Folly Flâneuse is delighted to feature here some drawings and paintings by artist Christopher Gee. Follies are often the subject of his work, as the small selection pictured here shows. Christopher’s sparing use of colour and unadorned backgrounds perfectly capture the lonely and exposed situations of many hilltop towers and sham castles.

architecture, Banqueting House, belvedere, country house, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, Northumberland, Summerhouse, Tower

The Summerhouse, North Seaton Hall, Northumberland

North Seaton Hall stood in the hamlet of the same name, just inland from Newbiggin by the Sea on the Northumberland coast. The house and ancillary buildings were demolished in the 1960s, and the land developed for housing: only the road called ‘Summerhouse Lane’ gives a clue to a fascinating feature which once ornamented the grounds.

architecture, East Riding of Yorkshire, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, public park, sham church

The Ruins, Pearson Park, Hull

Early in 1860 the Mayor of Hull, Zachariah Pearson, gave 27 acres of land to the Hull Corporation, on condition that they made an immediate start on laying it out as a public park. Initially known as the People’s Park, it was soon renamed Pearson Park in honour of the Mayor’s munificence. It was formally opened in September 1860, and quickly became a popular destination with all the usual attractions of lake, aviary, refreshment rooms and drinking fountain. But a couple of years after opening a less common feature joined the growing list of attractions in the park: a folly in the form of a sham ruin with a rather fascinating provenance.

architecture, Banqueting House, Buckinghamshire, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, Summerhouse

A Musical Interlude

The Folly Flâneuse is away (in search of follies of course), so until next week here is a brief look at the very pretty Music Temple at West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, the seat of the Dashwood family.

John Donowell, active 1753–1786, East View of West Wycombe House, Buckinghamshire, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1975.4.1884.

The temple, also known as the Theatre, was designed by Nicholas Revett in the late 1770s, and sits on the largest of the three islands on the lake. Sir Francis Dashwood’s guests would have been rowed over to the island for fêtes champêtres of food, wine and music.

West Wycombe looking rather fine in June 2021.

The Music Temple is just one of the many garden features added to the West Wycombe landscape in the eighteenth century. Some are lost, but others have been restored, or indeed rebuilt, by later generations of the family.

The Temple of the Winds, erected in the late 1750s.

In 1943 Sir John Dashwood gifted West Wycombe to the National Trust, but the house remains home to the Dashwood family. The house and grounds reopen in the spring https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/west-wycombe-park-village-and-hill

There will be no lounging around for the Folly Flâneuse, who will be back next week.

APOLOGIES that there has been a glitch in the system and regular readers will receive two posts this week. If you have missed the other it is here https://thefollyflaneuse.com/bonds-folly-or-creech-grange-arch-dorset/