Peterson’s Folly

There is no O2 signal at Castle Malwood Lodge today.  After the period in France I began to worry.  I rang O2.  The French and English experiences are allegedly coincidental.  The man I spoke to, from our landline, of course, told me that O2 had had a complete shutdown yesterday, but all should be back to normal now.  He advised me to take out both battery and SIM card, wipe the card with a dry cloth, and reinsert both the card and the battery.  He didn’t await the outcome.  I did what he said.  There was no difference.  I rang again.  A machine told me that they were inundated with phone calls and couldn’t take mine, so I would have to try later.

Along the A31, on the way to do some banking in Ringwood, I had a signal.  I guess I will just have to be patient at home.  Or I could just chuck the phone through  the window.

EarringThe earring still adorns the information board in Ringwood car park.  It has now been hooked over a metal staple and sways seductively in the breeze.

Our business concluded, Jackie drove us to Sway, on the other side of the forest.  Today’s objective was the Sway Tower, which our friend Sheila had sought on her last visit.  As thorough as ever, Jackie had Googled the landmark and walked the walk on the internet.  Able to retain such information, she took us straight there. This Grade 11 listed building is 66m or 200 ft tall.  Fashioned from concrete made of Portland cement, it is the tallest non-reinforced concrete structure in the world.  It was built by Judge Andrew Thomas Turton Peterson on his private estate from 1879 to 1885, and is, unsurprisingly, known as Peterson’s folly.  Originally intended as a mausoleum and advertisement for the material from which it was made, it is now a private house.  Despite having been, except for the window supports, constructed entirely of concrete, this is rather an attractive edifice.

Sway Tower

As I mounted the steps up to the gate leading to the house next door on the right, I coughed, alerting a most friendly young woman who was pegging out her washing.  She was almost eager to come out and tell us what she knew of the building, including its reincarnation as a private dwelling.  There is another house to the left.  The ruined folly was virtually in the garden of that property.  These neighbours sold their own house, bought the tower, and refurbished it.  Fire regulations do not allow residence above the fourth floor, because there is no passing space on the narrow staircase.  This information had not surprised Jackie too much because she had clocked the curtains.

A plentiful salad provided our evening sustenance with which I drank some Belle Tour Merlot 2012 from the Pays d’Oc.

12 responses to “Peterson’s Folly”

  1. Thanks for sending me back here Derrick – this is a fascinating edifice. I can’t imagine living in a home that has so many levels , its just as well they can’t legally dwell above the fourth floor, think of all the puffing and panting!

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