This book takes an affectionate journey around some of the atmospheric and occasionally mysterious ruins and follies that can be found in East Anglia.
It might be a building that has a particular historical, cultural or other significant interest but which is, at the time of writing, in such a state of disrepair that its restoration is either impractical or unlikely – or, in the cases of particularly old buildings, for example castles, not a consideration for obvious reasons. Or it might be a folly, a building that is still wholly complete and standing but was solely constructed for ornamental purposes and often for no practical use other than for the planners involved to ‘prove’ that it could be done. With a design that is often deliberately eye-catching, eccentric or even controversial in appearance, Edward Couzens-Lake investigates the reasons for this quirk, looking at, for example, the Victorian ‘fashion’ for making buildings that had a utilitarian purpose, such as workhouses or water towers, as ornamental in design as possible.
Featuring forty-five such sites that fit into those descriptions, together with an accompanying set of photographs, each ruin or folly selected will include a concise and informative narrative relating to the reasons for its construction, its history and, where relevant, its present day function.
Edward Couzens-Lake also looks at the future of some of the ruins and follies featured – do they have a future? Are they under threat? Might they eventually be lost to the landscape altogether, or do they have a function to play in the modern world? This charming and fascinating book looks to answer some of these questions.