The Follies – a personal note

Enjoy the follies and gardens of Foel Ortho Farmhouse Mid Wales – even Port Meirion was once a tiny dream. Echoes of TVs ‘The Prisoner’. Need a film / TV set? 

Three definitions of a folly:

“An ornamental structure whose creation reflects a whimsical inclination on the part of the builder.”

“An architectural construction that isn’t what it appears to be”.

“A building without a practical purpose”.

Three responses on first seeing the Follies at Foelortho:

“Never seen anything like this before – how amazing”.

“Why did you build it?”

“How did you get the time?”

This then triggers my usual mantra about my having an extra thirty hours available each week because I don’t have a tele, and wouldn’t they prefer to create their own fantasies rather than gawping every night at other peoples, and why don’t they look up the White Dot society on Google and get a life?…….. I won’t go on.

When I was four I had a most vivid dream. I was staring wide-eyed through my bedroom window at a vision suspended in the sky – a sunlit village, made of my own toy bricks. All my friends were there.
This beautiful picture dwelt in my mind ever after, the inspiration for countless drawings, models and dens. I knew that some day, in some lovely spot, I would build it.

Thirty years later, with a young family of my own, I discovered Foelortho – a deserted, rambling and dilapidated farmhouse with an acre of Welsh hillside. Here at last was my ‘field of dreams’ – the place for my village.

Another forty years on and the fantasy is a reality. I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

Eddie Matthews

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