Synopses & Reviews
Bringing together Britain's best-loved ornamental, fantastical, and sometimes just plain mystifying buildings, this charming gift book is packed with beautiful photos and fascinating historical information written in a chatty and accessible style
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, 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 everyone.
About the Author
Gwyn Headley has spent more than 30 years researching follies, and is the author of Architectural Follies in America. He is the cofounder of the Folly Fellowship, a pressure group that aims to protect and conserve follies in the UK, and is the owner of the FotoLibra picture library.