A triangular lodge dedicated to the Holy Trinity; a temple for refreshment and reading; a castle-tower turned nuclear bunker; and the inspiration for Saruman’s tower Orthanc – all practically useless; but stunningly beautiful. Welcome to the world of FOLLIES.
Influenced by the historic architecture of the ancient Greeks & Romans, British garden designers in the 18th century began to create faux-historical centerpieces for the wide open grounds of aristocratic homes.
Shelter’s first UK commissioned Original, FOLLIES is a joyous journey through four of England’s most fascinating follies to discover what makes them some of the country’s most interesting and iconic architecture, presented by architectural historian and author Rory Fraser (author of Follies: An Architectural History).
Quirky but fascinating, FOLLIES delves into the history behind a selection of eclectic and bizarre British structures; such as Rushton Triangular Lodge, Castle Howard , Broadway Tower, and Farringdon Tower (Tolkien’s inspiration for Saruman’s tower in Lord of the Rings).
FOLLIES not only provides a unique insight into the imagination and innovation of some of the nation’s best architects, but also the stories of the eccentric patrons that hired them and the place that they hold in the Great British story.
- Ep 1: Rushton Triangular Lodge (20 mins) United Kingdom 2022 (Available 20 June)
One of Britain’s most bizarre buildings, Rushton Triangular Lodge is the story of a man’s faith translated into brick and stone. While imprisoned by Elizabeth Tudor’s Protestant Government, the staunchly Catholic aristocrat Sir Thomas Tresham dreamt up a banqueting house covered in cryptic codes and symbols. On his release, Rushton Triangular Lodge was born. In this episode, Rory transports us to a world that is laced with intrigue, plots and clues – some of which are still to be cracked.
- Ep 2: The Temple of the Four Winds (15 mins) United Kingdom 2022 (Available 27 June)
One of Britain’s greatest contributions to the visual arts is the English Landscape Garden, a form of garden design that was refined at the magnificent stately home, Castle Howard, in North Yorkshire. Pinning these new landscapes together were follies. Built in the early 18th Century, The Temple of the Four Winds is an ornate classical temple that represented the revolutionary intersection of art, poetry and politics. In this episode, Rory explores the society in which the Temple was built and imagines the secret club it might once have entertained.
- Ep 3: Broadway Tower (15 mins) United Kingdom 2022 (Available 4 July)
Floating high above the Cotswolds, Broadway Tower is the breathtaking embodiment of a new style of 18th Century architecture that revolutionised Western design: the Gothic. Inspired by the search for a more authentic English style, the Gothic is a homage to the bygone mythology of castles, battles and chivalry of medieval England.
In this episode, Rory guides us through the tower’s many owners, from William Morris to the Ministry of Defence, celebrating Broadway as an unyielding bastion of patriotism, ideas and romance.
- Ep 4: Faringdon Tower (15 mins) United Kingdom 2022 (Available 11 July)
The final stop on Rory’s journey, Faringdon Tower introduces us to one of the 20th Century’s greatest eccentrics: Lord Berners. Although it was only built to save a small patch of woodland that Berners liked, Faringdon has become a much cherished local landmark.
In this episode, Rory dives into the roaring twenties and investigates not only how the tower has made its way in the hearts of the local population, but also the mind of one of England’s greatest authors: J.R.R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings.
FOLLIES KEY CAST & CREW:
Andrew Spicer – Director & Producer
Rory Fraser – Writer & Presenter
Dustin Clare – Executive Producer
Camille Clare – Executive Producer