October’s guest speaker was Sylvia Barrett who gave a talk entitled “Fun With Follies”.
Although follies can be found in many parts of the world, Sylvia concentrated her illustrated talk on British examples, explaining follies, some dating back to the 16th century, are a common feature of the British landscape.
Being an ornamental structure built purely for decoration and fulfilling no practical purpose, they were usually erected by wealthy landowners determined to indicate to others the size of their estates and prosperity.
Towers, spires, classical temples and huge decorative pineapples all found favour with the rich. Some follies however were built for a purpose being used to disguise utility buildings such as hunting lodges and water towers, “The House In The Clouds” at Thorpeness being a prime example.
Although the passage of time and the break-up of many of the old estates has taken its toll on these buildings various charities such as The Landmark Trust have undertaken restoration work and many of these once-solely decorative buildings have taken on a new lease life as unusual holiday lets and wedding venues.
For further information about Diss U3A please visit the Diss U3A website (opens in a new window) or telephone 01379 642674.
The next meeting will be on the 3rd November at Diss United Reformed Church commencing at 10.30am.