Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Charles Holland unwraps parrot-like folly at Fountains Abbey

  • Comment

A 9m-tall parrot-like tower designed by Charles Holland has been officially opened at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire

Dubbed Polly, the colourful ‘campaign-style’ tent by the former FAT co-founder sits on Tent Hill at the heart of the World Heritage Site and houses a camera obscura projecting views of the lake below on its interior.

The outdoor sculpture at the abbey and its park, Studley Royal Water Garden, was one of four pop-up pieces revealed to the public last weekend (28 April).

Other schemes have been designed by Greenwich-based Flea Folly Architects, which created The Bathing House Listening Tower – a 3m-tall structure tower capped by a copper water collector; and artists Lucy and Jorge Orta, who built a reflective mirrored sphere.

The fourth proposal in the National Trust’s annual contemporary art programme Folly! has been devised by 11-year-old Foster Carter from Le Cateau Primary School, Catterick Garrison, near York, who won a competition run in partnership with the North Yorkshire Society of Architects.

Carter’s scheme, The Raining Cloud, close to the Silver Pond, features a 4.2m wooden frame holding up a ‘cloud’.

Now in its third year, Folly! aims to attract visitors to explore the famous Georgian water garden as it was originally intended: ‘as a site of play and intrigue with dramatic views that criss-cross the landscape’. 

Justin Scully, general manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal said: ‘The new artworks continue the great 18th-century tradition of follies in landscape gardens; catching the eye and surprising visitors to the garden.

‘This year is the 300th anniversary of Studley Royal and what better way to mark this milestone than by reimagining the garden’s lost follies through the eyes of some of the UK’s most interesting artists and architects. We hope that over the next few months visitors will see their favourite views and corners of the water garden in new, playful and enlightening ways.’

Folly! is part of Trust New Art, a partnership between the National Trust and Arts Council England.

The bathing house listening tower, fleafolly. part of folly! at fountains abbey. credit charlotte graham

The Bathing House Listening Tower by fleafolly. part of folly! at Fountains Abbey

Source: Charlotte Graham

The Bathing House Listening Tower by fleafolly. part of folly! at Fountains Abbey


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.