Funny Folly Houses
Will and Guy are building up a collection of funny follies and strange structures. We only wish we had the spare money to commission such an indulgent building!
Follies can regularly be found around the UK write Will and Guy. They are fascinating remnants or relics from the past and often point to the idiosyncrasies of their builders or owners. Furthermore, many British follies can be viewed from a passing car or by exploring on foot. So what are these strange monuments?
1. Jack the Treacle Eater - Funny Folly House
Now, his commemorative tower can be found in Barwick Park, Somerset, England. Does the picture to the right remind you of a man with huge thighs? Or can you imagine those stones in the garden folly to be the messages?
*Gothic: Gothic architecture is a style of architecture which flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. It originated in 12th-century France and continued into the 16th century; many churches and cathedral were built in this style.
More Follies Which Defy Logic
The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind. H. L. Mencken
3. Faringdon, South West Oxfordshire, England
Farington is claimed by some to be the last true folly built in England. What makes this folly curious is that at the insistence of Lord Berners it was topped with gothic flourishes and mock battlements, and this was 1935 and not 1635.
Check out the fantastic views over 5 counties and find out about the history of Folly Hill, Henry James Pye (of Sing a Song of Sixpence fame), Oliver Cromwell and the very eccentric Lord Berners (the creator of the tower). See more on the Faringdon Folly Tower
4. The Folly House in the Clouds
It was built in 1923 as the Thorpeness water tower, disguised as a house to avoid it being an eyesore. Originally it was a five storey house underneath the water tank, which itself was hidden by enclosing it in a house-like structure complete with pitched roof. We were impressed with the neat room alignment on the corners. Later, when Thorpeness was linked to a mains water supply, the tank inside was dismantled and the space turned into additional living accommodation making the folly house you see today.
5. Goring-by-sea Grotto
6. Racton Folly
An alternative possibility, which we favour, is that it was built by the then owner so that he could see his trading ships berth at Emsworth, then a major port and now a beautiful small town worth visiting. Either way, some folk have told us that it perhaps qualifies today more as a curiosity than a folly.
While this is a sad picture, it does stimulate the imagination. Firstly there is a play on words, Racton - rack and ruin, then thoughts turn to what happened in those great holes that were once windows ......
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
This is a sunset over the Folly River, which flows next to Folly Beach, a beach town, near Charleston. This picture was taken by Sasha Azevedo of Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
To read more about follies:
William Gronow-Davis saw an opportunity to build the largest folly in Britain for a century. O2, the phone company, planned to build a nest of radio masts in Dorset England. When they pulled out of the deal, Mr Davies saw the chance to erect a wonderful new garden folly on his Rushmore Estate in Dorset, England. He settled on the design of an Indian mogul gateway, topped by five large copper domes. The base of the folly is made from Turkish limestone and is decorated with the family's crest.
Mr Gronow-Davis reflected, "I would say that 99 per cent of the feedback I have had has been positive. Natural England has said it enhances the landscape. You don't have to be rich to have a folly, it is not about extravagance, it is about beauty. I like the look of Mr Gronow-Davis' one and can't wait to see it.
Will and Guy's Top Ten Folly Quotations to Set You Thinking
The word "Folly" is commonly used to describe an ornamental building serving no useful purpose - some were designed as "sham ruins" while others were built simply to adorn the landscape. On the estate are the famous Jealous Wall built in 1760 in the style of a ruined medieval abbey to block the view of a larger house nearby, the Gothic Arch and Octagonal Gazebo.
In Georgian times the inclusion of such follies as part of the overall improvements to the landscape were to provide subjects for melancholic contemplation of the triumph of civilisation over barbarity.
Footnote: The Jealous Wall was kindly sent in by Eddie Flynn
Another Type of Folly?
The Folies Bergère is a Parisian music hall which was at the height of its fame and popularity from the 1890s through the 1920s. It opened on 2 May 1869. You can visit the Folies Bergère in Paris, France, at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret.
Famous painting opposite: LaDanse du Feu by Jules Cheret
These cubic houses came about from a design by Piet Blom in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The concept is of a forest, thus to get the full effect you need to view a street of these cubic houses. (See photograph to the right)
The cubes are split into three levels. The triangle-shaped lower level contains the living area. The windows on this level open onto the environment below due to the slope of the tilted cube. The middle level contains the sleeping area and a bathroom, while the top triangle becomes an extra bedroom or a living space.
The columns holding up the cubes allow for a staircase that leads to the entrance. Some of the cubes in the 'forest' have shops on the promenade level
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