In this book Jeffery W. Whitelaw defines what a folly is and shows that these architectural curiosities are to be found all over England. Many follies were built in the eighteenth century when great landowners, after their Grand Tour of Europe, returned to their estates with visions of putting up romantic ruins to satisfy a yearning for the past. At the same time many of these great estates were being landscaped in the contemporary fashion and the landscape architects were able to crown their grand designs with some sort of eyecatcher for the mansion — a folly, in fact — ‘to give a livelier consequence to the landscape’. The history of follies is traced, from the first prospect tower, through the golden era of the first half of the eighteenth century and up to the Second World War. The numerous illustrations demonstrate the enormous variety of follies that can still be found throughout England.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Now retired from publishing, Jeffery Whitelaw devotes his time to photography
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