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The Follies

"The garden is transported into quite a different league by the series of dotty and delightful follies"

The gardens are well known for their unique follies and have received a lot a publicity on national TV and in the media. There are now 3 follies, all very large, very different and completely useless but we hope they will amuse you as you amble through the garden.

Stone Water Tower

When you enter the garden, the first of the garden's follies that you come across is the Stone Water Tower.

Richard built this folly when he discovered an antique water wheel in the grounds which had been used to pump water to the neighbouring farm and discarded when milling ceased about 1900. This wheel now lifts water to the top of the tower by buckets mounted on a belt system to fill a tank housed at the top. When full, water spouts from the mouth of one of its gargoyles. The stones used to construct the tower were rescued from the Judge's Lodgings in Hereford and the 3 gargoyles were carved by Richard from Forest of Dean sandstone.

 

You can also rest inside the tower, enjoy the mural painted by a local artist and watch the flock of white doves who live in the dovecote.

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Glass Bottle Dome

The magnificent Glass Bottle Dome sits between the bog garden and the pond

 The dome is made from 5,000 multi coloured wine bottles. The bottles are embedded in concrete quadrants supported by arches and is regarded as an architectural feat. Inside the dome is a small pool to reflect the glistening bottles in the sunshine as well as a fernery for you to enjoy. 

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Glass Bottle Dome

The magnificent Glass Bottle Dome sits between the bog garden and the pond

 The dome is made from 5,000 multi coloured wine bottles. The bottles are embedded in concrete quadrants supported by arches and is regarded as an architectural feat. Inside the dome is a small pool to reflect the glistening bottles in the sunshine as well as a fernery for you to enjoy. 

dome.jpg

Glass Bottle Dome

The magnificent Glass Bottle Dome sits between the bog garden and the pond

 The dome is made from 5,000 multi coloured wine bottles. The bottles are embedded in concrete quadrants supported by arches and is regarded as an architectural feat. Inside the dome is a small pool to reflect the glistening bottles in the sunshine as well as a fernery for you to enjoy. 

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Giant Cuckoo Clock

The most recent folly is the water powered Giant Cuckoo Clock. It is perhaps the most ambitious folly as all aspects of the clock are driven by the movement of water. Each hour, the doors will open and the cuckoo will emerge. You will then hear the cuckoo's call as well as other bird song. Once completed, the doors will close and the cycle will repeat at the top of the following hour. If you do visit us, ensure to see the clock at about 10 minutes to the hour to watch it go through its routine. 

 

The 7 metre high half-timbered oak tower was built by a local specialist and nestles among stately conifers. You can view some of the clock's mechanism from the ground floor and then ascend the stairs to a viewing platform from which more of the clock's workings are revealed. The bird song mechanism was made by the same organ builder who did the restoration of the singing birds at the Villa d’Este garden outside Rome. 

 

We believe this is the world’s largest water-powered cuckoo clock and recent research has shown that it is the only water clock in the world that operates by the ancient Greek method of a direct water flow rather than moving a pendulum.

 

During the winter of 2021/2, we have been working on the restoration of the clock and I am pleased to say it is now working although further improvements are planned to make it more reliable whilst maintaining the integrity of its unique method of operation.

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