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Wroxton Follies

Banbury, Oxfordshire

Quick Guide
See below grid for details

3 follies and an impressive house and grounds that are now a College. The follies can be visited on a foot path.

Picture by E Gammie

Wroxton follies are near Wroxton Abbey, they can be seen by following a footpath. The following table gives details of what you will see along the route.

Grid ref Item Description
SP414417 Wroxton Abbey Wroxton Abbey is a 17th century Jacobean mansion, built in ochre Horton stone, with slate-roofed gables and at least twelve chimneys, with 45 bedrooms, a chapel, a great hall and a library. It is built on the foundations of a 13th century Augustinian monastery and is thought to have been erected in the 1600's, by William Pope.

It has a landscaped garden by Tilleman Bobart, created in 1728. Between 1731-1751, the garden was partly converted into a Serpentine style, possibly to the design of Lord North, later to become the Earl of Guildford. This centred upon 2 lakes, these being divided by a cascade and rocaille, and a twisting serpentine river. There is also a routine, Roman Doric Temple, with a classic 4 column portico. In the twentieth century, a pretty knot garden was also added.

The Abbey is now converted into a Fairleigh Dickinson College, where American students study.

  Footpath start Dark Lane, 100 yards up the road from the Abbey's front gates.
SP415416 Wroxton Dovecote The Wroxton Dovecote is a somewhat dumpy, octagonal tower in a Gothic style, with battlements. It is sometimes referred to as the Wroxton Castle.

Built by Sanderson Miller, a local architect 1716-1780, he was a pioneer of Gothic Revival architecture. He had inherited Radway Grange a few miles away. Miller is noted as being one of the great folly builders, his many other works include the mock sham castles at Hagley Hall, and at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire. Finished in 1745, this little neo-Gothic Dovecote folly tower overlooks the front drive of the Abbey. Mr. Miller constructed it from large bricks of varying sizes in sandstone, the structure rising about 35ft to a viewing platform.

SP419412 Wroxton Obelisk The Wroxton Obelisk, is around 50ft high. It is square, and tapers off to a pyramid. It was commissioned by Francis North, the Earl of Guildford, to commemorate the visit to Wroxton and the Banbury races, by the Prince of Wales, Frederick of Hanover in 1739.
SP428410 Wroxton Arch or Drayton Arch The Wroxton Arch or Drayton Arch,  as it is also known, 2 40ft towers with an arch between. It is said to be one of the finest eye catchers, or "notable object", follies in England. It is positioned in a clearing  placed at the summit of a hill, It allows the visitor commanding views back across the fields to the Obelisk and, probably before the trees grew up, a view to the Abbey.

Location: Wroxton Follies, nr Banbury, Oxfordshire

Grid Reference: See above table Ceremonial County: Oxfordshire

Map Link: multimap

Aerial photo:

Getting there: See above

Access: Via footpath

Website: Wroxton abbey shop site with virtual view of abbey inside

Wroxton College website   images of the inside of the abbey and gardens etc

Other Useful Websites: Geograph for part of area   Geograph for other part
Folly towers
Postcode: Telephone:
Opening Times: Public footpath - open all the time

Charges: None

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: List of Follies in the UK 


Page Ref: Wroxton_Follies

Classification: Follies

Date Updated: 10/2008

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