The Folly Fellowship was founded in 1988 as a pressure group to protect, preserve, and promote follies, grottoes & garden buildings. At this time, many follies were in a ruinous condition (although some were built that way) and the genre was largely an historic one that we felt worth preserving. However, since that time, there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of these buildings to our landscapes. Many have been restored, and several have been completely rebuilt with local support. Better still, some individuals with imagination and the tenacity to fight the planning process, have begun to build new follies. The rise in popularity of television building programmes has encouraged people to try and squeeze something a little unusual in their back gardens. Follies are no longer the preserve of architectural historians and the very rich. If you’d like to find out more, join us, and be part of this group who celebrate this particular branch of architecture that loves to break the rules of what is normal in buildings.
Note that apart from encouraging you to join the Folly Fellowship, this site is not about selling you anything – it is intended as a resource to enable you to find out more about the fascinating subject. So if you are writing a thesis on garden architecture, looking for an architect to design you a folly, or looking for ideas to build your own folly, dig in, there’s plenty of inspiration here.
We are sorry to announce the death of Vernon Gibberd on 25th October. Vernon was an architect and FF member and was responsible for numerous follies including the tower at Kyre Park, the grotto at Leeds castle and the canal grotto at Newton Valence.
An American news item about a garden at Winterthur, Delaware containing modern follies
Flower magazine featured an article last year entitled “English Garden Follies: Enchanting and Enduring“. It shows some of the less obvious examples including several of the Bannerman’s designs.
Gwyn has brought to my attention this extract from a book entitled World of Hurt by Thomas Tessier:
Someone has done their homework but he doesn’t appear to be a member unless working under a pseudonym.
An update on Temple Works Leeds including a chance to look round on 20th March.
An article appeared in the Telegraph last year entitled ‘Add a little joy to your house: put a folly in the garden.
An article from Cornwall Live about a previously unknown 35ft obelisk
Interesting recent article entitled “Europe was once obsessed with fake delapidated buildings”
An article entitled “It’s not bonkers to be fond of a folly” appeared in the Times on Jan 26th