What is a Folly? Folly definition

What is a folly?

folly n. (pl. follies) a garden ornament or structure for the enjoyment of both owner and guests. The ultimate expression of good taste.

There have been many definitions of follies over the centuries, yet it is only in recent years that they have been fully appreciated once more – whether a Gothic ruin, classical rotunda, garden gazebo, elegant fountain, charming statue or exquisite planter… Simon Scott: Folly Expert is here to help.

Enhance your property or landscape with a garden folly by Folly Expert

Enhance your property or landscape

To enhance your property or landscape with fine designs is no longer viewed as an indulgence. Indeed, such embellishments – if carefully designed, sourced and installed by an expert – can transform a private home, wedding venue or heritage property into the extraordinary. A focal point, a talking point: the finishing touch that is also a worthwhile investment… increasing the enjoyment, and indeed the value, of your home or enhancing the appeal of your property for corporate or wedding events - whilst attracting more paying visitors…

How can Simon Scott, Folly Expert help? Advice, design, source and construction.

How can Folly Expert help?

We can offer advice, design, source and construction services - either providing a complete start-to-finish service using our own expert team of craftsmen or by working alongside either you or your staff and contractors. We want to work with you to create something truly special. We can also provide professional advice on a consultant basis, including heritage matters relating to listed buildings as well as listed parks and gardens. All costs are agreed in advance so there are no nasty surprises. Simply make contact with Simon Scott today to discuss your requirements – he is here to help. Examples of typical projects are shown on this website to whet your appetite…

Skills and capabilities:

Folly Expert can advise on garden and landscape restoration

Being an Affiliate of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, Simon has produced Heritage Statements to support successful planning applications in both Northamptonshire and North Yorkshire. He has also led successful campaigns to preserve the open countryside and landscape from inappropriate commercial development and encroachment, whilst actively supporting appropriate and sustainable development. Simon can also advise on all aspects of garden and landscape enhancement and restoration.

Chelsea Flower Show folly design by Simon Scott

As a medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden designer, Simon has significant garden design experience. He also has a passion for landscape design, particularly heritage assets such as listed parks and gardens. These skills can be harnessed to provide design services, embellishing and enhancing almost any garden or landscape – whether a private garden, country house landscape, boutique hotel, wedding venue or public space.

Folly Expert can source bronze, lead, stone and timber designs for a garden or landscape

With over 30 years’ experience in the garden and landscape sector, Simon is uniquely placed to be able to source the best bronze, lead, stone and timber designs to enhance a project. So, whether you desire a Gothick ruin, classical rotunda, garden gazebo, elegant fountain, charming statue or exquisite planter, Simon is able to source the best designs to suit both your project and pocket. Simon has significant experience in commissioning one-off designs, whether from an artist or a commercial manufacturer, whilst his inside knowledge of the industry allows him to provide sound advice on the options available.

Construct and build a folly with Folly Expert

Commissioning a folly can be such fun, whether you want Folly Expert to provide a complete start-to-finish service using an expert team of craftsmen or by working alongside either you or your staff and contractors. Please remember, it is not just follies where Folly Expert can help – we can source the best bronze, lead, stone and timber designs to enhance a project, whether you desire a Gothick ruin, classical rotunda, garden gazebo, elegant fountain, charming statue or exquisite planter.

Simon Scott can research the heritage of your property, garden or landscape

For planning or promotional purposes. Simon Scott is the author of books on many diverse subjects including Artificial Stone, Folly Landscapes and Formula One motor racing. He is happiest when burying deep into archives and both primary and secondary resource material, amassing a significant research resource himself. These researches can be used to create anything from Heritage Statements for planning purposes, to guidebooks for historic properties and promotional material for wedding venues. Simon has been responsible for writing, designing and printing 200+ page full colour publications so can take responsibility of a project from end-to-end.

Simon Scott can speak and lecture on follies and garden heritage subjects

Simon is a confident public speaker and media interviewee on heritage, garden, folly and related subjects. He has been an invited speaker at major conferences in both the UK and USA, yet is equally at home speaking to groups such as Garden Trusts and local history or garden societies. His enthusiasm and knowledge for the subject shines through and enthuses audiences. Question and answer sessions afterwards are encouraged.

Individual guide and group tour options from Folly Expert based in Yorkshire

Simon has led both individual and group tours in Yorkshire and beyond. Previously, for example, he has accompanied a coach tour of Gardens Trust members, speaking and guiding, even organising refreshments. He has also provided custom tours to individuals wanting to explore a particular niche interest. Based in Yorkshire, Simon has many fascinating heritage assets close to his home including designed folly landscapes as Castle Howard, Studley Royal, Bramham, Wentworth Castle and Duncombe Park and ruined monastic sites such as the abbeys of Byland, Fountains, Jervaulx, Rievaulx and Whitby.

Simon Scott of Folly Expert with Sir Roy Strong of The Laskett
Simon Scott (right) with Sir Roy Strong

About Simon Scott

Simon Scott is Folly Expert. He must be in the unique position of having written books about follies, designed follies for medal-winning show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, built his own folly and owned and maintained a genuine eighteenth-century folly.

He is one of England’s leading authorities on artificial stone in the landscape, writing the definitive book on the subject having completed an MA with Distinction at the University of Leicester in the Country House: Art, History and Literature.

He is a longstanding member of the Folly Fellowship, a trustee of the Historic Gardens Foundation and an Affiliate of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

For 19 years was a Director at one of the world’s leading cast stone manufacturers, responsible for their global marketing. In 2018, Simon and his wife Carol moved to North Yorkshire to be near such wonderful designed landscapes as Castle Howard, Studley Royal, Bramham, Wentworth Castle and Duncombe Park. He hopes to hear from you soon…

News & Gallery

In 2018, Simon and his wife Carol moved from Boughton Park in Northamptonshire to North Yorkshire to be near such wonderful designed landscapes as Castle Howard, Studley Royal, Bramham, Wentworth Castle and Duncombe Park. He hopes to hear from you soon… In the meantime, please enjoy the gallery of images.

Folly and knot garden for show garden at Chelsea Flower Show Armillary Sphere Sundial enhances a garden Orangery in stone and glass – ideal for swimming pools or garden rooms Tuscan Temple at Rievaulx Terrace, a historic folly in North Yorkshire Folly Expert can offer a complete folly construction service A folly can provide a focal point in a private garden or a wedding venue at a hotel Fountains and water features are a speciality for Folly Expert Entrance gateway to a home or garden Simon Scott can commission a bust or statue for a special event or anniversary Folly Expert can provide folly, garden and landscape design