Showing What Can be Done



Gloster, County Offaly has featured here before (see Spectacle as Drama, August 31st 2015) not least thanks to the exemplary and ongoing restoration programme being carried out there by the present owners. Their latest initiative has involved the very striking eye-catcher folly situated on high ground to the east of the house. Above are a couple of photographs showing how this looked until recently.



The Gloster folly is believed to date from the 1720s, making its construction some twenty years earlier than that of the better-known Conolly Folly in County Kildare. As with the main house here, the design is attributed to Sir Edward Lovett Pearce: his aunt had married Menhop Lloyd, owner of the Gloster estate and it was their son Trevor (first cousin of Pearce) who remodelled Gloster following his inheritance of the place. Rising some twenty feet high, the folly consists of a triumphal arch, flanked by obelisks on substantial plinths. Last year the whole site was cleared of vegetation before both the folly and its wing walls underwent full restoration, thereby ensuring its long-term survival and providing another example of what can be achieved in preserving our architectural heritage. Bravo to all concerned.


10 comments on “Showing What Can be Done

  1. Joe says:

    Perhaps it’s the romantic in me but I prefer the former ivy-covered and Casper Friedrich like – with a little moonlight !- folly, the restored version looks a tad sand-blasted?

    • Yes, I appreciate how you feel, but the folly pre-restoration risked falling down, and that would have been somewhat less romantic! Give it a few years and the vegetation will be more fulsome (and the folly look correspondingly more romantic…)

  2. Jonathan Miller says:

    A splendid eye-catcher. Does the ground leading to it rise in inclined terraces, continuing the form of the cascade?

  3. I thik it has been cleared of ivy and lime pointed rather than sand blasted.. This will endure it gets the chance to be engulfed in ivy for amny years to come !

  4. Chris Ryan says:

    Well done Tom and Mary.
    Chris Ryan

  5. James Canning says:

    Yes, bravo to all concerned.

  6. Margaret Huff says:

    It does look a bit harsh and ivy softens so many facades, however…the little things that anchor it leech the life out of any mortar that might be between bricks or stones. In time, the folly would come down sooner if the ivy had remained. A good dose of sunlight will help the life of it. It’s beautiful.

  7. Larry says:

    Nice to see a good news story. Thanks

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