In Georgian Ireland, you were no one if you hadn’t a folly. Mind you, it helped if you had hundreds of acres to put it in, but a fake Greek temple or a picturesque ruined abbey always looked well set off against the immemorial elms.
Not all follies were built solely as flights of fancy by magnates with more money than sense. Occasionally, like Killiney Hill’s obelisk, they were built so the starving...
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