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Report - Dinton Folly, Bucks, June 2016

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by HughieD, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jan 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    This was an opportunist mini-explore while visiting friends. Easy access and quite a modest site but you really can't beat a good folly explore.

    Located just north of the village of Dinton, Buckinghamshire, it was built by Sir John Vanhatten in 1769 as an 'eye-catcher' from Dinton Hall, constructed on a Saxon burial ground. He used the castle to store his collection of fossils in the limestone walls (man after my own heart!). According to Rev. Callander (formerly of Dinton), it was latterly used as a temporary meeting place for a local non-conformist congregation with a tarpaulin as a makeshift roof. The ruin is said to be haunted by the ghost of John Bigg (a.k.a. the Dinton Hermit) who used to live in a nearby cave under Dinton Hall in the 17th Century, until his death in 1696. Bigg was a clerk to Simon Mayne, an Aylesbury magistrate and MP, who owned Dinton Hall. Mayne was one of the judges at the trial of King Charles I in 1649, and it is said Bigg may have been one of the hooded executioners of the king.

    The Folly was originally three storeys high and was inhabited by some of Vanhatten's servants. It is octagonal with circular towers to the east and west. The west tower has fireplaces at each storey and the east tower had a 'newel' staircase. Ammonites of all sizes are set into the limestone walls. It was scaffolded for years but in recent times had some stabilisation repair work done on it. More recently the Grade II listed building was sold at auction in 2012 for £56,000, below the asking price of £75,000. The new owner, Mr Brett O’Connor, has pledged to restore the building using authentic limestone from the area and estimates it could be completed within five years. The plan is to restore it back to a three-storey building with a staircase in the east tower and fireplace on each floor.

    OK…on with the pictures.

    The ruin stands well in the trees:

    27822737002_f8ba7013fd_b.jpg img5730 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    27848139081_4eec51c26d_b.jpg img5732 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Previous stabilisation attempted utilised wooden triangles!

    27847496261_cb90bfb78a_b.jpg img5728 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The East tower:

    27823004322_81c2d4303f_b.jpg img5726 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Some of the many Portland ammonites set in the walls by John Vanhatten:

    27890376896_47681b2d36_b.jpg img5725 by HughieDW, on Flickr
    27312663904_b984ed08d3_b.jpg img5723 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    27311684193_841398a7e7_b.jpg img5720 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    27646315670_3e1abd11bc_b.jpg img5719 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    27823262152_899d6df7a4_b.jpg img5716 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Fireplaces in the western tower:

    27847895901_01e9dd3e44_b.jpg img5715 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    27646458170_02f35bfdd2_b.jpg img5713 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    This new trench appears to expose a bricked-up former entrance to the folly:

    27890725866_870bb0f764_b.jpg img5707 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Thanks for looking!

    Attached Files:

    Kal-El, WildBoyz and jsp77 like this.

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  2. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
    Regular User

    Aug 26, 2014
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    Nice little find!
    HughieD likes this.
  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
    Regular User

    Mar 16, 2014
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    As Oort said ^, nice find!
    HughieD likes this.
  4. Mps6

    Mps6 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Mar 5, 2016
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    Awesome, what a gorgeous building :D
    HughieD likes this.
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