Arch, architecture, Banqueting House, country house, eyecatcher, Folly, garden, garden history, Hertfordshire, sham castle, Summerhouse

The Folly, Benington Lordship, Hertfordshire

In the grounds of Benington Lordship, an early 18th century mansion near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, is a sham ruin on a grand scale. Constructed in the 1830s it combined the roles of eye-catcher, gateway, smoking room and banqueting hall in one rambling structure.

architecture, Berkshire, eyecatcher, Folly, Oxfordshire, Tower

The Tower, Woolstone, Oxfordshire

In 1938 John Betjeman wrote a feature on ‘Gentlemen’s Follies’ for Country Life magazine. In it he noted a number of well-known follies, including the then very new tower built by Lord Berners at Faringdon, close to where Betjeman lived. He also mentioned another local folly, a tower in the village of Woolstone (then Berkshire, now Oxfordshire). So whilst the house above doesn’t look much like a folly, it does have a great folly story attached.