Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Folly Bird Part IV

Twas a foggy day

Onward with the Folly Roadtrip!
This is the last of the local ones and is The Vandalian Tower, which is part of Uppark. It sits a small distance from the house but can be easily seen without going to the National Trust property. In fact, it can be seen in the parting of the trees, from the town I live in, high up on a distant hill.
There is rumour, readily quashed by Uppark volunteers, that Admiral Lord Nelson entertained Emma Hamilton here, but the volunteer I spoke to said Nelson never visited Uppark, though Emma lived there for a time. I believe there was something mentioned about dancing on tables.
Regardless, has anyone heard of secret liaisons?

The Vandalian Tower was designed by Henry Keene for Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh around
1770. I was a bit naughty and took a photo inside Uppark when I wasn't supposed to (rebel) but I took it with my phone, which isn't actually a camera *cough* but sorry nevertheless if anyone from Uppark reads this. I was naughty, but rarely am, so forgive me?
I knew instantly what this building was when I saw it.

I also found this postcard online.

It's interesting to see how it deteriorated over the years.

I found this interesting information about it:

The tower was originally built in 1774 to celebrate the founding of the American settlement of Vandalia, a proposed British colony that never grew beyond its initial founders. Due to the American War of Independence, the small colony was hung out to dry and while they proposed becoming a state by the name of “Westsylvania,” the fresh American government scoffed at the idea and the territory was subsumed by the states now known as West Virginia and Kentucky. 

However before this colony was eaten by the fresh beast now known as the United States, back in Britain a stone tower was built to honour the fledgling settlement. Yet as one would expect, when the colony failed the tower was quickly abandoned, possibly out of embarrassment for their too quick self-congratulation.

Today, the remains of the tower are still standing amidst an overgrown field in the parish of Harting. The ruins are behind a fence that protects them from further deterioration as well as embarrassment.

I also found this -

It holds historical interest as a testament to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh’s commercial interests in America and as a reputed meeting place of The Hellfire Club, the popular name for a number of exclusive clubs for aristocratic rakes in the 18th century.

And more information can be found here.

I feel as the patriotic Brit that I am, that I should say here, the fences around the tower are very likely to stop people going inside and damaging the structure further, or damaging themselves and nothing to do with embarrassment.