The new Mogul style folly at Rushmore in Dorset, England
Don’t know how this slipped through our net – but better late than never. Here is the splendid new folly William Gronow Davis built on his 1700 acre Rushmore estate in Dorset, England in 2009. The gardens of his Rushmore home are sited in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and parts it are Grade II listed. Even so the 65ft high structure was given planning permission. The reason was the the folly was originally planned to incorporate five mobile phone masts and to be funded by mobile telecoms company O2.
When the company pulled out of the deal, Mr Gronow-Davis decided to go ahead with the folly, which by then had valid planning permission.
It is build in Indian Mogul style to reflect the fact Mr Gronow-Davis was born in India. It is built from concrete, rendered in lime and sections of the four pillars have been washed in red ochre lime. The base is made out of Turkish limestone and has the family’s crest coated on it along with the four points of the compass. It is surrounded by a ha ha (a sloping sided ditch.) The five copper domes on the roof are capable of housing the phone aerials in the future.
Mr Gronow-Davis, a descendent of General Augustus Pitt Rivers, who inherited the estate in the 19th century, said: “It is unusual and looks so beautiful from my house. From my drawing room you look out onto the gardens along an avenue of trees and fountains and about a mile away is the folly. It is wonderful and just finishes the garden off.
“The telephone company was going to pay for it but that all fell through. By that time I decided I wanted the folly and so I paid for it. I would say that 99 per cent of the feedback I have had has been positive. Natural England has said it enhances the landscape.”