architecture, Banqueting House, belvedere, Carmarthenshire, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, Monument, Observatory, Tower

The Nelson Tower, aka Paxton’s Tower, Llanarthney, Carmarthenshire

High above the valley of the River Towy stands a sturdy, and seemingly invincible, tower. It was built to commemorate Admiral Lord Nelson, but within a century it was falling into decay, and it only narrowly escaped conversion into a cowshed.

architecture, Bath and North East Somerset, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, sham castle

A Sham Castle at Sunset

The Folly Flâneuse is taking a short break to enjoy the last of the sunshine (hopefully). So a brief post this week looking at Ralph Allen’s wonderful Sham Castle, high above the city of Bath.

It’s a bit of a steep hike up the hill from the city centre, but one can’t get lost…

The folly was built by Ralph Allen of nearby Prior Park in 1762. A plaque records that it was restored and given to the people of Bath in 1921.

Sunset over the city, and a Montgolfier moment.

The folly is a highlight of the National Trust’s ‘Bath Skyline Walk’ which gives stunning views over the city.

Last of the evening sun on the beautiful Bath stone.

Thanks for reading. The Folly Flâneuse will be back with a full-length folly feature next week. Enjoy the changing of the seasons as summer mellows into autumn. 

architecture, eyecatcher, Folly, garden, garden history, Grotto, landscape, Surrey

The Grotto and Cottage Orné, Oatlands Park, Surrey, as seen by the novelist Denton Welch

Denton Welch was a talented artist and writer, but his career was sadly cut short by his early death in 1948. A few years before he died he described an ornate 18th century grotto in one of his novels: the fabulous grotto was for real, but it was demolished in the same year that Welch died, making his description all the more poignant.

architecture, Borders, Column, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, Monument, Obelisk

The Monument, Penielheugh, Borders, Scotland

On Sunday 18 June 1815 the British and Prussian armies, commanded respectively by the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshal von Blücher, won the Battle of Waterloo. There were immediate demands for monuments across Britain to celebrate this great victory, but none were so quick to respond as William Kerr, the 6th Marquis of Lothian, and his family. By the end of June funds had been raised to erect ‘a monument on the summit of Penielheugh’, a lofty hill on the Marquis’s Monteviot estate.

architecture, belvedere, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, Kent, Tower

Scott’s Tower, Horsmonden, Kent: A a towering tribute to a literary legend

A postcard sent in 1936, courtesy of a private collection.

250 years ago, on 15 August 1771, the poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh. One of Scott’s greatest fans was, to give him his full title, The Reverend Sir William Marriott Smith Marriott Bart M.A.* (1801-1864), rector of Horsmonden in Kent. Here, as part of improvements to the rectory’s grounds, Marriott built an eye-catcher tower dedicated to Scott, now sadly lost.

architecture, belvedere, Borders, eyecatcher, Folly, garden history, landscape, Monument, Temple

The Temple of the Muses, Dryburgh, Borders.

The 11th Earl of Buchan, seldom mentioned without the qualifier ‘eccentric’, bought the Dryburgh estate towards the end of the 18th century. He built a new house and improved the grounds, creating a landscape which featured as its centrepiece that ultimate in garden ornaments: a ruined abbey. Further embellishments included this pretty rotunda on a hillock overlooking the Tweed, and a ‘colossal statue’.

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

The Temple of Victory, Allerton Mauleverer, Yorkshire

The Allerton Castle one sees today is a great Victorian edifice, created in 1848. But the site has been home to a number of renovations and rebuilds, gone through several changes of name, and seen some colourful owners. On a knoll in the park stands an elegant octagonal temple, which must have attracted the attention of passers-by on the nearby Great North Road (A1), but sadly it is seldom mentioned, and its history remains a little vague.