I went on a really wonderful walk the other day. The sun was shining, I was all alone and there was so much history along the way that I am hard pressed to decide which part should be the subject of this piece of writing. In the end I came to the conclusion that the conclusion or end of the walk should be the focus point of my tale. Folly? (Sorry!)
This is Rogers Tower. And it has often called a folly. The dictionary definition of a folly is “a costly, ornamental building with no practical purpose”. I admit have to concede that Rogers Tower probably does fulfil that brief. But was Mr Rogers foolish to build a little playhouse here for his family to picnic beside on a sunny day? I would say certainly not!
The tower was built in 1798 by one of the Roger’s family from Treassowe manor below the hill on which it stands which is also known as Tonkin Downs. It is uncertain which member of the family was responsible but the most likely candidate would be John Rogers (1750-1832) who it has been said had the money and the wit to undertake such a plan.
The tower stands high above Mount’s Bay commanding immense views across the countryside in all directions and out to sea. It is a Folly but it is also wonderful! There is only one downside to this view. The land between the tower and the village of Castle Gate is part of a giant granite quarry and for more than 100 years machinery has been gobbling up the hill side. (A large explosion went off while I was balanced precariously on the top of the OS trig point taking a picture! I nearly fell backwards into the ferns.)
There is only one downside to where John Roger’s built his tower. He built it on the outer ring of the ancient Iron Age hillfort that covers the top of the hill but to be fair I doubt he had to get planning permission and what is valuable to us now was in many ways just a pile of rocks to them then.
As I said there is so much history in this small place that I think I will have to return to it again for another walk and post! You have been warned!