architecture, Banqueting House, belvedere, country house, garden history, landscape garden, Observatory, public park, Summerhouse, Temple, West Yorkshire

The Temple, Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury

When first built the handsome gazebo in the grounds of Crow Nest in Dewsbury would have had views over the estate’s fine gardens and pleasure grounds. At the end of the 19th century Crow Nest was bought for the people of Dewsbury, and has now been a public park for 130 years. The Temple remains an ornament to the park, but sadly today it has a rather forlorn appearance.

architecture, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, Grotto, landscape, North Yorkshire, Temple

The Grotto Temple, Masham, North Yorkshire

Just over the river Ure from the market town of Masham is this unusual rotunda sitting on top of a rustic grotto. It was designed to take advantage of the view over the river to the church and the attractive little town. An engraved stone near the temple tells us that in 1770 ‘Samuel Wrather built this grotto’.

architecture, Bell tower, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, Kent, landscape, Mausoleum, Observatory, Tower

Waterloo Tower, Quex Park, Birchington, Kent

John Powell Powell (1769-1849 – the double Powell acquired to meet the conditions of an inheritance) was passionate about bell-ringing and erected this ‘light, elegant and fanciful building’ at Quex Park, his seat in Kent, where his hobby could be indulged. Not content with a lofty tower, he almost doubled its height with a unique cast iron spire – years before a certain Parisian landmark took shape.

architecture, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, Observatory, Surrey, Tower

Booker’s Tower, Guildford, Surrey

In 1839 Charles Booker leased a plot of land in the corner of Guildford’s ‘Great Hilly Field’. There’s a clue to his purpose in the name of the site: Booker needed an elevated spot on which to build a ‘prospect tower’. After his death the adjacent land became the town’s cemetery, and the tower passed to the Burial Board (who were reluctant custodians). It later came into the control of the town council, and a contract was signed in 1927 to allow its demolition. But by a quirk of fate the tower survived, and stands tall today.

architecture, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, Pagoda, Rustic shelter, Stirlingshire, Summerhouse

The Pagoda, Cardross, Stirlingshire

This curious rustic structure once stood in the grounds of Cardross House in the parish of Port of Monteith, near Stirling. It was built by the estate gardener in around 1853, and according to a picture postcard it became known as ‘the Pagoda’. A family memoir however records it by the rather charming name of The Foghoose.

architecture, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, Obelisk, Surrey

The Obelisk, Camberley, Surrey

In the town of Camberley a truncated tower stands on a hilltop surrounded by trees. This is the surviving remnant of an elegant tower, built by John Norris, which stood on the open country known as Bagshot Heath. It has been known since its earliest days as ‘The Obelisk’, for in the 18th century the term was sometimes used to describe any tall, tapering structure. Although only a sorry stump remains, it has the most fascinating history.

architecture, Bell tower, belvedere, garden history, Leicestershire, Monument, public park, War Memorial

The Carillon, Loughborough, Leicestershire

Soon after the close of the First World War the people of Loughborough began to consider how to commemorate those who had lost their lives in the conflict. The civic dignitaries considered a number of ideas but the proposal of a ‘lofty tower and carillon of bells caught the imagination of a number of eminent municipal people’.