Fabulous, fanciful and frivolous buildings
Publication date: 19 July 2012
Series: National Trust History & Heritage
Britain’s countryside is liberally sprinkled with follies – eccentric, original buildings built for fun by landowners and aristocrats over the centuries. They include prospect towers, ornamental temples, rustic hermits’ cottages, faux-prehistoric stone circles, and some buildings that don’t seem to have had any purpose at all.
In this fascinating and stylish book, folly expert Gwyn Headley brings together some of the most beautiful and intriguing follies cared for by the National Trust, from the craggy fake ruin at Mow Cop in Cheshire to the elegant buildings created by Henry Hoare for his great landscape garden at Stourhead. He also introduces some very extraordinary characters, such as Frederick Hervey, the ‘Earl-Bishop’, who had an obsession with women, volcanoes and rotundas, and Sir Thomas Tresham, whose fervent Catholicism inspired him to create the extraordinary Lyveden New Bield, an unfinished building suffused with religious symbolism.
Fully illustrated with exquisite images of these remarkable buildings, this insightful book will inspire the folly-hunter in us all.