Author Gwyn Headley explains his fascination with follies

House, school, hospital, church – all of these words conjure up an image but if I say ‘folly’ what do you think of? Chances are your mind has gone slightly blank. Follies are ‘misunderstood buildings’, ones without an obvious purpose and they can look however their creator wanted them to. They have been built, not through need, but purely because someone wanted to realise a dream or an ambition and it was that idea that captured the imagination of folly expert Gwyn Headley…

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A 19th Century Dolls’ House: Designed to Dazzle, Tunbridge Wells Museum, Kent

Just inside the entrance to the Tunbridge Wells museum stands one of the most spectacular, and popular, objects in their whole collection. Recently described as ‘one of the best 19th century dolls’ houses in existence’, it stands at an enormous 6ft x 4ft 8” and is a real showpiece. Yet hidden behind its brief museum description lies a touching tale of travel and kindness.

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Author Mark Oldfield – Do baddies always wear black hats?

History is full of ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ but do we always know who is who? Author Mark Oldfield’s novel The Sentinel is set during the Spanish Civil War when the Nationalist General Francisco Franco was in armed conflict with the Republicans. Following 30 years of visiting and working in Spain, Mark was convinced that ‘the bad guys won, the good guys lost’ but as he explains it really does depend whose side you are on…

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Hangings and Hauntings of Old Soar Manor, Plaxtol

Built in 1290, on land granted to the Colepeper family by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Old Soar Manor would have dominated the medieval landscape. Designed to impress and entertain visitors as well as repel attack, the fortified manor provided an important gathering point for the local community.  The closest major settlement was at Wrotham, which […]

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