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Old April 6th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #1
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Perrott's Folly | Waterworks Road | 6fl | 29m | Comp

Probably stretching it a bit for a completed project, but the Folly is currently open Thu-Sun 1-5pm for an exhibition by the Ikon Gallery featuring works by Jurgen Partenheimer. The roof will not be open though

Pevsner says: An impressive Gothick tower of 1758. Massive two storey base channelled into a slim five-storey octagon with pointed windows, stone battlements and circular stair turret.

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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:11 PM   #2
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No, its worth recording CityGent especially to encourage visitors to it.

There's a BBC online gallery of photos from Perrotts Folly to go with those.

Couple of views from there:

Regeneration -
Changing Places and Transforming Lives.

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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #3
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Excellent pictures both, might pop along to this next weekend, just a shame the roof isn't open
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Old April 6th, 2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the photos and the new thread . It looks a lot taller than 29m , doesn't it ? A slim tower (SHT ) always looks cool and something a little taller at the NEC would fit the bill too .The long white blocks of flats wouldn't look out of place in France or Germany .
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Old April 6th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #5
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From Deirdre Alden's Blog

Art At The Folly

Perrott's Folly in Waterworks Rd, Edgbaston, is one of those buildings which thousands of local people will easily recognise from the outside - but few will have ever been inside. A few year's ago, when I was on the Perrott's Folly Trust, we did open the building up to the public for one day (the one day a year when English Heritage insured buildings which were not otherwise insured for public entry). It was a beautiful sunny day and I remember we had a lot of visitors!

Perrott's Folly has a narrow winding staircase and one octagonal room on each floor. There is no passing room on the stairs, so public access is not easy. Added to that the fact that a number of repairs have had to be carried out in recent years, and you begin to understand why it is not often open to the public. However if anyone does want to go inside, now is your chance!

From today until May 25th (Thursdays to Sundays, afternoons only), the Ikon Gallery is staging an art exhibition in the folly. A single piece of art work is being displayed in each of the six single rooms (one on each floor).

Both for the art work, and the rare chance to see inside a very unusual building, this art exhibition will no doubt be very popular. Only six people at a time are being allowed inside the building, so be prepared to queue! There was certainly a queue when I popped in today to say hello.

Follies are the kind of building you expect to see in the country, not in the middle of a Birmingham housing estate. The area WAS countryside when the folly was built 250 years ago and it's possible it's original use was as a hunting lodge. It was used as a weather observatory for the University of Birmingham until 1979, and it's reckoned to possibly be the inspiration for Tolkien's Two Towers (along with the nearby tower at Edgbaston Waterworks, and because he lived nearby and used to pass both towers on his way to school). And now today, a new chapter in the life of a very interesting building begins as it opens its doors for the first time as an art gallery!
Regeneration -
Changing Places and Transforming Lives.

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Old April 6th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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Here's another picture...

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Old April 11th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #7
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Mail article on it

Tolkien tower is tall order
Apr 11 2008 By Graham Young

CLIMBING landmarks has always held a certain mixture of fascination - and fear.

I've walked up the Eiffel Tower as far as you can go on foot before taking the last lift. And I've held my breath at the top of the Tower of Pisa.

Back in Brum, it's always been frustrating that the public cannot admire the city from the top of either the BT Tower or the clock tower at the University of Birmingham.

But at least I've just ticked off Perrett's Folly on Waterworks Road, Edgbaston. And it's such an amazing experience I doubt if anyone travelling even 100 miles to share it could be disappointed.

The Folly was built 250 years ago in 1758 by landowner John Perrott.

Said to have been used as an elaborate hunting lodge, it later became a weather observatory for the Birmingham and Midland Institute and then the University of Birmingham.

Along with the nearby Waterworks tower, it's said to have been the inspiration for The Two Towers element of The Lord of the Rings - author JRR Tolkien used to live on Stirling Road.

Now, its door has reopened for a sustained period for the first time in 20 years.

I was surprised by the number of visitors on a weekday. Come the Tolkien Weekend of May 17-18, it could be pretty chaotic.

Why? Well, the truth is, going up Perrett's Folly is surely the closest thing you can experience to feeling like you are climbing up the inside of a pencil.

The spiral staircase is so narrow it would be almost impossible for two adults to pass each other directly.

Luckily, there are half a dozen small rooms leading off it all the way up.

But they are sufficiently far apart for you not to be able to tell if anyone is coming the other way when you set off gingerly holding the essential handrail.

Several people were returning to ground level just as I arrived and they were all saying "My legs feel really weird". I found out what they meant soon enough.

If climbing upwards has a strange effect on your pins, coming back down is really, really odd. It's just as well that the rooms are useful staging posts.

Their contents are also the reason the tower has reopened: to showcase an art exhibition linked to the Ikon Gallery - Jurgen Partenheimer's Discontinuity, Paradox and Precision.

The eclectic pieces in various materials didn't do a lot for me. Certainly not when compared to the challenging dimensions, extraordinary curves, amazing brickwork and peeling paint of the tower.

The only disappointment is that you can't actually go out on to the top.

But, the truth is, I'm not so sure I'd have had the nerve.

* Open 1pm-5pm, Thursday to Sundays, until May 25. Admission free. Telephone 0121 454 4152. Website: www.perrottsfolly.co.uk
Regeneration -
Changing Places and Transforming Lives.

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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #8
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I went yesterday and was amazed.

Everyone should go.

The city is missing a trick by not having this building this in use. It needs a function and IMO it really should be a 'tolkien' visitor centre
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Old April 14th, 2008, 02:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CityGent View Post
There were three of these blocks until a few months ago and now there are two, i've heard nothing about what regeneration is going on in this area however there is clearly some going on with the recently completed Birmingham Institute for the Deaf and something else being built next door to it.

Does anyone know anything?
You were born poor, naked and helpless. Everything in your life was given to you, the food you ate, the clothes you wore, the shelter you received. Most importantly of all you received an education.

You were given this because people loved you, because people you never knew worked to feed you and long before you were born people died to protect you and to give you the opportunities they never had.

Life doesn't owe you anything! YOU owe life!
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Old April 14th, 2008, 08:44 PM   #10
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Maybe the third is just off to the right of the picture...? Or has it actually disappeared? We would have been told if it was being demolished!
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #11
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Sorry for the late reply but I can definitely confirm the third has been demolished for a few weeks now. I drive past the area quite frequently and now only 2 stand. Across the road I believe they've just complete a new centre but don't know what it is.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #12
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I really have to get down to Perrots Folly before the art exibition ends, keeps slipping my mind though.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 08:55 PM   #13
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I went and had a look today. The views aren't great and there was only 3 bits of art actually in there. A statue, a mould and something on the TV. Fascinating building though and free to get in.

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