January 2, 2005 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Follies and Monuments Devoted to the history of English architecture fantastic, outrageous, and (to borrow from the quotation on the index page) "useless." See also this 3D model of William Beckford's Fonthill Abbey (and the facsimile reprint of A Description of Fonthill Abbey and Demesne); folly gardens, historical and current; and a famous French folly garden, the Désert de Retz.
posted by thomas j wise (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just happened to be looking around for more pictures of the Portuguese Quinta da Regaleira, a castle in Spain which was converted by an Italian set designer in the eraly 20th century into a sort of Disnetland of Mysticism complete with a Templar Initiation Well and gardens with secret caves.

I wonder if this qualifies as a modern folly garden.
posted by vacapinta at 9:17 PM on January 2, 2005

Some cool stuff.
Should I ever become absurdly wealthy I plan to give some away and then build something really odd. I mean, what is the point of having money if you can’t be nice and then screw with people’s heads. Even after death.
posted by arse_hat at 10:16 PM on January 2, 2005

Best Link this year.

Well, ok, so far. But this is a good one.

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing the design of the Arse_hat Tower.
posted by eriko at 4:31 AM on January 3, 2005

Thanks to "thomas j wise" for the link to my website about the Désert de Retz. Don't miss the photos page, too.
posted by rwkenyon at 8:56 AM on January 3, 2005

I was visiting friends at their manor house in Ireland. They pointed out their side windows across the valley to a tower standing near the crest of the hill. "That's a folly tower" I was told. It was built and paid for by the Irish tennants of the English landowner after the Troubles, in honor of the generous way he and his family treated them during that time. It was said that whenever roving Irish gangs would approach the home of the "hated" English landowner, their tennants would stop the gangs at the gate and tell them to go elsewhere.

I wish I had gone over to see it, but it was actually on the neighbors' property. It looked really cool from a distance.
posted by dragonmage at 9:24 AM on January 3, 2005

Cool. I used to live about 2 minutes from the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster. I haven't thought about that in a decade. Thanks.
posted by salmacis at 10:03 AM on January 3, 2005

Very nice links indeed, ms. wise. I am catching up after having been away for several days. Going through a few days of Mefi posts is a Herculean labor, but I am glad I did not miss this great post. Thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 5:56 PM on January 3, 2005

I wish I could see the view from all of the windows of the Column House and I particularly liked Michael Kenna’s monochrome image of the Column House.

I was surprised to see the Cerne Abbas Giant amongst the Dorset follies. Do Celtic Chalk Hill figures fit the category?
posted by Tarrama at 6:44 PM on January 3, 2005

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