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I’m a fan of folly

Walking towards Wimpole Folly, March 2021

Yes, I’m a fan of folly. As was  Sanderson Miller, an English pioneer of Gothic revival architecture in the eighteenth century. He was regarded by many as the follies architect of the day. In 1751, he was commissioned by Philip Yorke, 2nd Earl of Hardwicke, the then owner of Wimpole Hall, to design a folly ruin on the slopes above the Hall. His sketches were then used to build the ruin under the supervision of the great landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown from 1768-72.

It is now a pleasant stroll across the grounds at Wimpole to explore the recently renovated folly of a medieval castle, stretching for about two hundred feet and embellished with a four-storey Gothic tower. It is still a ruin, as it always has been, but it is now a smart and safe ruin. In fact, it was one of the winners of the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage, with the judges remarking, “This is an extraordinary example of a restoration of an iconic ruin which has served as an example for the construction of similar structures in Europe.”

Wimpole Folly, Cambridgeshire, March 2021



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 22 March 2021

Posted as part of Fan Of…

18 replies »

    • Oh, I love Manchester. And it has changed massively in recent years. I was born in Sale, my older sister studied in Manchester in the 1960s, and my daughter was at uni there just a few years ago.


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