‘What did Delaware?’, asks the old song. Well until January 2020 one part of the state casts off its brand new jersey and dons some brand new follies. Winterthur, near Wilmington, DA., is home to a gallery, museum and library set within 60 acres of garden and surrounded by a further 1,000 acres of park. Winterthur’s founder, Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969), designed the garden with the architect Marian Coffin, an old friend from childhood. From around 1920 he embellished the estate with garden buildings relocated from nearby estates that were under threat, as well as creating his own follies from recycled architectural fragments.
Since April these structures have been augmented with a wonderful collection of newly constructed follies. Some are inspired by genres of folly such as a gothic tower, an Ottoman tent, a rustic hut and a classical temple whilst two are heavily inspired by real buildings in England: the Needle’s Eye at Wentworth Woodhouse, South Yorkshire and the Chinese Pavilion at Stowe, Buckinghamshire.