Benington Lordship Gardens

Folly

Built by architects James Pulham & Son in early/mid 1830's from the rubble of the Norman Castle the Folly forms an impressive gateway to the gardens. The mock ruins continue into the courtyard with a large dining room along the side of the house & the remains of a a huge curtain wall that joined with the Summer House, a small flint faced out building, the "hidden" brick structure can be seen from the moat.

The Pulhams used coloured cement (known as Pulhamite) to match existing stone which was then sculpted using various tools to create the illusion of much older stonework, this can be seen on several parts of the tower where it has fallen away to reveal the brick underneath.

James Pulham was born in 1793, one of ten children, he worked closely with his brother Obadiah both having a talent for modelling stone. It is thought the Folly was designed by achitect Thomas Smith & the two brothers completed the project shortly before James died in 1838.

After his death his younger brother, also James took over the business and it continued to operate successfully up to WW1, the war and subsequent depression saw the company decline, by the end of WW2 the business had closed. The last of the Pulham sons (another James) to run the business died in 1957, the family house was demolished ten years later.

Examples of the Pulhams work can be seen throughout the UK in some very prestigious locations including Buckhingham Palace, the V&A museum & Waddedson Manor, their only known work outside of the UK is at Gisselfeld in Denmark.

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