Another glorious English summer’s day so off I went to the little village of Brightling. There is a walk in my AA maps called the Follies of Brightling, intriguing, what could that be about?
Well the first wonder came at the Brightling church, it has a HUGE pyramid in the grounds! John Fuller of Brightling, (1757 – 1834) amassed enough money to become both eccentric and community minded so while he concocted follies to be built to please his eccentricity and guests, he provided employment for local builders. But the church is also stunning in it’s own right, and apart from the lovely arches, stonework and windows the pews are filled with beautiful cushions of tapestry. I took the liberty of photographing 4, but there were many more just as varied and beautifully worked.
Beautifully worked kneeling cushions in the Brightling Church
Interior of Brightling Church
It was a pleasure to leave a goodly donation at the Church and take a copy of Geoff Hutchinson’s booklet on John Fuller.
Walking on over fields I came to The Tower folly, surrounded by a small copse of trees in a paddock. I can imagine the fun that was had by guests at the time, the FOLLY of it all.
The Tower Folly at Brightling
Walking on thru more fields and into Coblye wood I started to see pheasants and find out it is a pheasant raising area. Such gorgeous looking birds. Just before the wood catch a glimpse of the Temple Folly behind the cricket ground.
The Temple Folly
Pheasants of Coblye Wood
Crossing thru Prinkle Wood studded with bluebells underneath many shrubs and trees blossoming in all shades of pink and white and mauve the sounds of the woodland is such a treat. Birds are talking away to each other, and breeze has the trees rustling their leaves in constant conversation. It sounds like they are all so happy to have emerged from winter to find shiny new coats to boast about.
Cross a road and enter Darwell wood, sharing some of the paths with horse riders, dog walkers, scurrying squirrels and rabbits.
Suddenly there is a covered conveyor belt stretching both ways for as far as I can see. It carries gypsum between Mountfield and Brightling.
Gypsum mining conveyor belt.
I love the way old English buildings seem grafted into the landscape, I guess over the centuries they have nestled themselves into the very earth and fabric of their place.
This is such a lovely walk, about 6 miles and it took me 3 hours. So many follies I didn’t see on this walk; The Sugar Loaf, the Brightling Needle and the Observatory. Good on John Fuller!