Barwick Park Follies
The four follies collectively were ranked in 'Britain's Top 10 Follies' on the BBC's 'Countryfile' programme in 2009.
Jack the Treacle Eater
ST 563 142 - Listed Grade II
Jack the Treacle Eater is the eastern boundary marker of the Barwick Park estate. The folly is set on a stone-walled grass bastion overlooking the park and Barwick House, and is flanked by a group of mature beech trees.
The folly is comprises a monumental rubble-stone arch surmounted by a Ham stone ashlar circular tower with a battlemented parapet and a conical stone roof. It is crowned with a statue of Jack. It is actually a winged lead statue of Mercury, the Roman messenger of the gods (or possibly Hermes, the equivalent Greek god). The story goes that the Messiter family employed a messenger boy called Jack, who ate treacle to give him the energy to run to London. The turret has an inaccessible door leading to a single small room.
Around 2005, the folly was scaffolded and the circular room at the top was cleaned out. When I first looked inside, it was completely full of twigs and old bird's nests. After it had been emptied, it became apparent that the whole of the inside was made up of nesting boxes built into the stonework - a dovecote.
The Fish Tower
ST 560 148 - Listed Grade II
The Fish Tower is located on the northern edge of the estate just to the south of Two Tower Lane. There was originally a second tower a few metres away from the Fish Tower, hence the name of the lane. However the other tower, which is shown on a tithe map of 1837, had fallen down or been demolished by around 1880.
The Fish Tower got its name from the fish weather vane in an iron cage, which was once attached to the top of it. The fish weather vane had disappeared by the 1950s. The Fish Tower is a cylindrical tower made of rubble and is about 50 feet or 15 metres high. The cap is made of ham stone with decorative markings on it.
The Rose Tower
ST 556 142 - Listed Grade II
Also known as Messiter's Cone or simply the Cone, the Rose Tower is adjacent to the Yeovil Showground. It is the western boundary marker of Barwick Park. It is about 75 feet / 23 metres high and the cone part is set on a cylindrical base, which is dissected by three arches. The cone has seven levels of pigeon holes in it and is crowned by a ball finial.
ST 559 129 - Listed Grade II
The Needle, also known as the Obelisk, is the southern boundary marker of Barwick Park and is about 40 feet / 15 metres high and is of slender proportions rising from a square base. It stands adjacent to the very busy A37 main Yeovil to Dorchester road and is surrounded by trees. There is no access.
Content provided by www.yeovilhistory.info
NOTE: As far as we are aware, access to Barwick Park is still enabled. Please visit historical England's website for more information and a useful map too. Link is with address details.
- Family friendly
Barwick Park Follies, Barwick, Yeovil, Somerset , United Kingdom, BA22 9TB