architecture, Folly, Staffodshire

Ratcliffe’s Folly, or Ecton Castle, Ecton, Staffordshire

In later life Arthur Ratcliffe expressed his pride in having progressed from peddling candle wicks to becoming a surveyor, an M.P. for Leek, and director of a building society. But he might never have discovered his passion for building had his doctor not ordered him to take some time off work for the benefit of his health in 1922. On a visit to the Manifold Valley in Staffordshire, he found a small building which he intended to renovate as a weekend retreat, and snapped it up for the grand sum of £11.