Books covering other topics related to follies:

(Note: We do not sell books -these are just to let you know what's around. Some may not be in print, but most can be picked up through Amazon marketplace or ebay)


The lodges at the gates of country houses were frequently used to advertise the aspirations of the owners, as the most visible part of an estate. Thus they were usually designed to be impressive, often at the expense of the gatekeepers who had to live in them. As the big houses have been demolished, the lodges or gatehouses are often the only reminder of the estate still remaining.

The Trumpet at a Distant Gate - Tim Mowl & Brian Earnshaw 1985 (Waterstone 0 947752 05 6)

An overview of park gate lodges in the UK, going into some detail on the architectural forms and fashions of the different periods as well as the social backgounds of the people who built them and lived in them.  Lots of good pictures as well, but this is a well written history, not just a picture book.


Comings and Goings - Gatehouses and Lodges - Peter Ashley 2002 (Everyman 1 84159 081 9)

This one is the reverse - lots of beautiful colour pictures of lodges and not a lot of text, in a small pocket size book ideal for Christmas stockings.


Usually below ground, grottoes were an expression of pure fantasy - often accompanied by water features and frequently occupying their makers with several years of collecting and arranging shells or bones to line them with. The above ground variety are generally known as shell houses.

Shell Houses and Grottoes- Hazelle Jackson (Shire 978 0 7478 0522 9 )


Really only refridgerators in the days before electricity, these were underground buildings filled with ice from the lake in winter to keep food fresh into the summer. As buildings on an estate they were sometimes made to look like temples, hence their inclusion here.

Icehouses - Tim Buxbaum (Shire 978 0 7478 0150 4)


Dovecotes were another practical building found on a counrty estate, their function to provide meat from an easily accessible source. However, as they were usually close to the house, they were often designed to look ornamental, in some cases being indistinguishable from follies from the outside.

Dovecotes - Peter and Jean Hansell 2001 (Shire  0 7478 0504 0)
Scottish Doocots -Tim Buxbaum (Shire 978 0 85263 848 4)


Frequently rather sombre monuments, obelisks are nonetheless a quintessential part of the landscape garden as an ornament to provide a focal point to vistas. They become follies when the event being commemorated is fictitious or wildly exaggerated, or when the ornamentation or design goes well beyond the funereal.

The Obelisk: A Monumental Feature in Britain - Richard Barnes (Frontier Publishing 2004)   1872914284


Buildings made to shelter fishermen and to house their rods and trophies. Some however, transcend the purely utilitarian and would be easily mistaken for foillies if you were to come across them in the wild.

Fishing Huts- the angler's sanctuary- Jo Orchard -Lisle (Excellent Press 978-1-900318-36-5)

Many here are workaday huts, but there are enough spectacular ones that are effectively follies with a piscatorial theme, to make it worth buying.


The pyramid shape crops up many times in different guises - as a mausoleum, a wellhead, a memorial, a marker or a lodge. Not all pyramids are follies, but most are sufficiently interesting to draw the eye to them, whatever their purpose.

Up to a Point - David Winpenny (Sessions of York 2009)978 1 85072 398 1

A very comprehensive guide to the pyramids of Britain and Ireland with plenty of historical detail on each one. Unusually it includes modern sculptures and pyramid shaped offices and libraries.



The Hermit in the Garden - From Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome - Gordon Campbell (OUP Oxford 0199696993 2013)


Modern Fantasy Gardens

These books deal with a modern form of highly designed gardens incorporating, sculptures, buildings, water features and sculptural land forms.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation - Charles Jenks 2003  (Frances Lincoln 0 7112 2538 9)

A large format book detailing Jenks's amazing garden, started in 1995 and still being added to. It's themes are in modern scientific theories and these are detailed here along with lots of pictures of a range of amazing garden features , most of which have no direct comparison in any other garden.  It could be called a folly garden, but not as we know it!


Gardens of Illusion - Sara Maitland and Peter Matthews  2000 (Cassell & Co  0304 35434 1)

Contemporary gardens from all over the world are featured, and these include folly buildings, strange figures and creatures made from trees or turf, mazes, waterfeatures etc, but the unifying themes are of odd, surrealist, features.

Children's Books
As you might expect, there aren't many, but here are two I've come across:

The Dwindling Party - Edward Gorey (Heinmann 434 94130 1)

The MacFizzet family visit the grounds of Hickyacket Hall, and they then pass through topiary avenues, prospect towers and grottoes, and one by one, members of the family are carried off by monsters who lurk within. Each page pops up with a 3D model of a greek temple, a gazebo, a grotto etc and levers activate the various monsters. Great fun.

The Wonderful Towers of Watts - Patricia Zelver & Frane Lessac 2005 (Boyd Mills 1590782550)

This describes how an Italian immigrant built the towers in a violent area of Los Angeles and how it helped build a pride in that community.