Parlington Hall :: The Estate :: Former Lake

The header image of the Folly which sat on an island, in the former lake.

The folly was the focalpoint of the lake, and given that it is the chancel window from the original St Mary's church, Garforth, which was demolished and replaced by a new structure designed by George Fowler Jones in 1844. Logically we can reasonably conclude that the lake was created sometime after 1844, a period of considerable activity by the two heiresses, Isabella and Elizabeth, following the death of their father Richard Oliver Gascoigne in 1843.

Area Denoted by (A) on the Plan of the Lake

The Folly (2) is shown in red on the plan, it sits around 10 or 12 feet above the level of the Cock Beck, as it flows today, I estimate that it would have been nearer 6 feet above the water level in the lake. The header photograph gives a clue to the disintigration of the old structure, if you look closely you will see that the two jambs are no longer parallel to each other. One or both sides of masonry are subsiding slightly, tipping away from the vertical by a few degrees, this increased width at the head of the window will have been sufficient to cause the intricate stonework to collapse.

Folly from the Cock Beck

Pieces of the masonry can be found in the river bed and lying adjacent to the folly

Fragments of the Chancel Window

The Chancel Window around 1920's

A photograph taken of the Folly from the early part of the twentieth century, even at that time two of the mullions and pieces of the cill have collapsed. The stonework appears to have been built without glazing, which is understandable given the isolated location and its purpose as a folly, but this may have assisted in the deterioration of the stonework by the action of weathering from the wind and rain and frost.

The Folly around 1920's

Another contributory factor to the demise of the structure is probably vandalism, sadly a feature of society. The shear quality of the masons work is still obvious in the pieces lying about.

A recent discovery [January 2009] of photographs taken by George Fowler Jones (Architect to the Gascoigne sisters), held at the National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorks, has a number of pictures one of which shows the Folly in the latter part of the nineteenth century, [dated on the negative 1882]. These will be available soon! See L9 in this section for more information. After previewing the negatives, it is possible that a person in the photograph of the Folly may be one of the Gascoigne family.

Continued on Lake 4.

Former Lake Page on the old site

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