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A folly & a foreign body...

fluff

By fluff

46 comments


On one of our long walks during my week off we came across this in the middle of a field. At first I thought someone had built a mosque in the heart of the Dorset countryside…but on closer inspection & after some questioning of the chap in the white truck in the picture…we heard the story of the weird & wonderful creation!

It is on the 7,500 acre Rushmore estate, part of Cranborne Chase….. in Dorset, it stands at the end of a kilometre long vista rising from King John’s House…the home of wealthy landowner, William Gronow-Davis.
Although the gardens of Rushmore are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty & parts of it are Grade II listed this enormous structure was given planning permission because it was originally designed to incorporate 5 steel mobile phone masts,17 metres high, to provide better ‘Airwave’ coverage…the mobile network used by the emergency services.
However, the company funding the building…02…subsequently pulled out…leaving the idea for it with William Gronow-Davis.

William G-D has spent 1000s of ┬ús on this structure…thought to be the largest folly built in Britain for over a 100 years.

By definition a folly is a building that has no practical purpose…built to enhance a view or create a feature in a landscape… so whether it can strictly be called a folly is up for debate as it still holds 5 aerials which could be brought into use in the future.

It’s 65 feet high, built in the style of an Indian Mogul gateway to reflect the fact that Mr W G-D was born on the sub-continent…made of concrete pillars washed in red ochre lime with 4 copper domes atop…the base is of Turkish limestone & has the family’s royal crest on it with the four points of the compass.

The foreign body I referred to is something we’ve all got used to having around the country-side but unusually steps have been taken to make it look a little less incongruous…it’s at Sutton Clump…a little copse on the Blandford to Melbury Abbas road in Dorset that has taken a foreigner into it’s bosom…in the form of a metal ‘tree’ housing a mobile phone mast…

Most people don’t even notice it’s not real…from a distance it’s higher than the real trees …but at least they’ve made an effort!

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Comments

 

is it just me or does anyone else think the tree is very sneaky. i wonder did they apply for permission for it

28 Aug, 2009

 

I love follies there are quite a few around here doing nothing but just there. I think I prefer the tree to the temple thing?

28 Aug, 2009

 

Very interesting blog Fluff and great pictures. We have a couple of those 'tree masts' near us and they look a lot better than the usual ones, blend in quite well. If we all want to use mobile phones etc then we have to put up with the masts (although none of us want them near us!). I think they are a good way of camaflouging a 'necessary' evil but of course should be subject to planning permission too.

28 Aug, 2009

 

Love your blogs always Fluff and this one is brill too. I've never seen a metal tree and think they are an excellent idea.
The folly looks like it has been there for a long time and is great. :~))

28 Aug, 2009

 

Amazing Fluff... Irish if you use a mobile phone then you need to accept the necessity of masts for such - the alien trees are a good compromise. Frankly the energy windmills look worse and make far more noise!

28 Aug, 2009

 

its no the masts as such i object to but the amount of them, they seem to crop up all over the place. i wish the phone companies would agree to sharing them

28 Aug, 2009

 

Like your blog Fluff

28 Aug, 2009

 

We have one of those mobile phone mast trees here in Bracknell. It has grown beside the sewage works - hmmm

28 Aug, 2009

 

I know this is only my opinion and I would never assume it has more precedence than any other but I quite like those big windmills. I have stood under one and they do make an awfully loud noise but I wouldn't say it was unbearable. I think, in my simplicity, that they are majestic and magical in so far as they turn wind into electricity.
Now should I click the submit button and cause a dissagreement or delete it and sleep tight? ? ? ? ?.......................

28 Aug, 2009

 

Ach... we all have the right to our opinions - personally I'd like to see us get more into wave powered electricity and it IS happening... seemingly it is not as easy as wind turbines but much less intrusive and does not kill the wildlife.

28 Aug, 2009

 

there are a few wave powered projects been tried out over here . very interesting .

28 Aug, 2009

 

There is a plan to try out wave power in the Pentland Firth if they can make it work there it will work anywhere!

28 Aug, 2009

 

i think i like the folly......but i do love the metal tree...
i am very luck as in my view the worst thing is a couple of telegraph poles. im all for windpower and as i live in a very windy area it would seem sensible to put them here....but would i become a n.i.m.b.y?.....im not sure. i do however like the plan to site them out at sea which is also in my view that way i could see them but not hear them.

28 Aug, 2009

 

As long as it doesn't involve burning things and sending polutants into the atmosphere then I'm all for it. But I do genuinely find those huge turbines graceful. There are loads of them offshore at Skegness, our nearest bit of seaside.

28 Aug, 2009

 

Realistically we have got to do everything we can to slow down climate change... if that means huge wind turbines then so be it. The highlands are already providing a lot of electricity from hydro power. BUT, and it is a huge BUT, the newest hydro power station used so much energy to create that... well you get the idea!

28 Aug, 2009

 

I completely agree Ian, on both points.

28 Aug, 2009

 

on the other side of our hill is the wounderfly bueatiful Milford Haven there are two refineries and now ane LNG station. i would much prefere wind, solar or hydro power. i wish THEY would put more into researching the alternatives...

28 Aug, 2009

 

As soon as I saw the building above the first thought that popped into my head was that it must be a Folly - I was right, too, as I saw when reading further down. I've seen these on programmes on TV but have never actually seen one for myself.

The artificial tree used to camouflage the antenna seems a great idea to me but this is the first time I've ever heard of this idea!

As everybody knows by now I live on the ground floor of a block of flats. Well there are 6 or 7 floors to the building, depending on how you view the building. But the roof space is dedicated to these mobile phone masts! This block is the highest block of flats in town. Just a couple of years ago O2 planted some more of the things on the roof. T-Mobile I believe wanted to do the same but I don't think they were ever put up.

28 Aug, 2009

 

Sandra the research is happening and the wind, solar, water power solutions are all going ahead... It will just take time for them to have an impact and we all need to look at ways of downsizing

28 Aug, 2009

 

Moon grower
the waste in society in general is awful. i love to recycle and reuse its the most environmental way to go. i watched Coast on Tuesday it was about Norway sending us their gas as they dont use it...they depend on hydro power......

28 Aug, 2009

 

I have to say I do like the tree! What a neat way to diguise something neccessary in today's world, but usually ugly!
Hopefully it was made using recycled materials!!

28 Aug, 2009

 

me too Marie...

28 Aug, 2009

 

:~)))

28 Aug, 2009

 

It's good that they are trying to think of ways of disguising the masts since there are so many of them.

29 Aug, 2009

 

The Folly is beautiful, and the metal tree looks so real....but I'm puzzled about the leaves on it. Is the tree an evergreen? lol
I agree with Ian about the wind turbines. I find them very graceful and almost hypnotic. But, as Sandra says, would I say n.i.m.b.y.?

29 Aug, 2009

 

i was all dor them Silverbelle...that is until i went to cornwal and saw fields and filds of them....we would need too many to give us any sustainability. i like the idea of hydro power. we ARE an island with huge tide twice a day every day. but investment is needed to harness it....

29 Aug, 2009

 

Now THAT I agree with Sandra! We've found ways to harness water power (Pitlochry for example) already, so they KNOW it works, so why cant they just go for it?????????

29 Aug, 2009

 

hydro power at Pitlochy and elsewhere in the Highlands is working and generating a lot of electricity (most of which goes south) wave power is still a newish field but they are working on the challenges - which includes not harming our wonderful sea mammals and fish.

29 Aug, 2009

 

the wave power that is being tried out in the Loughs over here does seem to be interfering with the calls of the dolphins and whales. i guess there is always going to be something that interferes with nature. how much it interferes will be the question

29 Aug, 2009

 

If wave power interferes with the calls of dolphins and whales, then I'd prefere wind power...........even if it meant fields of wind turbines. We do need to slow down the expansion of 'global warming' for our children's and for their children sake. It's a debate that we can't solve here on GoY, as everyone will have different views on what should and should not be done. All I can say is that it's nice to know that so many of us feel passionate about, and feel the need to discuss it.
See what you started Ian....it's all your fault ;- lol

29 Aug, 2009

 

EVERYTHING is Digger's fault, it's what he's for! LOL!
But I actually agree with him, I LIKE the wind turbines!

29 Aug, 2009

 

Hey you guys...I posted that blog & then felt so ill with tiredness (anyone else ever get like that?) that I had to go to bed ...& when I come back on next morning you've all gone off on a tangent about hydro power, wind turbines & global warming!!
I love the way things spark off a debate...even if it's on a different topic!
Wind turbines are absolutely beautiful...I've seen them in Crete on the cliff ....stood right underneath one leaning on it & it gave off a gentle hum in time with the blades going round ... & on the coastlines of our lovely country where they look the most stunning but if they really did the job they were intended for I would never say no them in my back yard.
A small village campaigned successfully against 5 being erected in a field near them this summer & I wasn't surprised when they won... I can see they would've overshadowed the whole area & if you hate them that would've been unbearable.

Thank you for all your comments on the folly & the 'phone tree!

29 Aug, 2009

 

I have broad shoulders......... Lol
On a more serious note I also have a six year old daughter and I sit up at night worrying at what she is going to inherit as a result of my generation, who knows what we are doing to the planet, but still say N.I.M.B.Y.
You know that question: "what would you do if you were the in charge?" Well my first 'law' would be to make planning easier and claims of "spoiling the view" inaccessable as a way of stopping these projects. I don't understand how people can put a 'view' over the safety of the planet.
In fact I would go as far as to say that all councils must show a percentage of the power consumption of its area is coming from renewable sources.
OK rant over, sorry for hyjacking your blog (again) Fluff

29 Aug, 2009

 

Help yourself Digger!!

29 Aug, 2009

 

Your such a generous person Fluff, Thank you. :~))

29 Aug, 2009

 

Any time...you can pay me later....!!x

29 Aug, 2009

 

LMAO, how much? How much is the planet worth?

29 Aug, 2009

 

Worth more than anything we consider valuable that's for sure. But do we look after it?

29 Aug, 2009

 

As well as a child would look after a 'favourite' teddy/dollie.
That meens drag it through the mud, leave it behind when you go shopping and feed it s**t (or soil to be more precise on this occasion)............

29 Aug, 2009

 

LOL!

29 Aug, 2009

 

think the tree idea is a lot better than huge tall metal mostrisities, it blends in better and at least looks like a sculpture, they should keep all to this standard

3 Sep, 2009

 

I agree Sandra!!

3 Sep, 2009

 

thanx mari :o))

3 Sep, 2009

 

I think the tree is brilliant!

3 Sep, 2009

 

Bet they'll say it cost a lot!

3 Sep, 2009

 

probably fluff, not cost affective yer yer yer

3 Sep, 2009

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