Follies come in all shapes, sizes, and functions. The most common type, the garden folly, pops up throughout the formal gardens of 18th-century Britain and France in the form of pagodas, temples, and faux ruins, for example, simply as decoration.
Hadlow Tower in Kent was one such folly and considered the tallest Victorian example of its kind. Except it was built out of jealousy, or so the story goes, by Walter May, a local landowner and merchant, whose wife supposedly ran away with a farmer, according to UK magazine Country Life. He added it in 1838 to Hadlow Castle, which his father built in the late 18th century.
May wanted to make an even bigger statement, so he added a 40-foot lantern to the top, bringing the height to 175 feet. Now, after all these years, it serves a slight more noble purpose—it has been converted into a home, and an impressive one, at that.
A Grade-I listed structure, the folly is now a 3,488-square-foot residence that has been carefully restored and refurbished in recent years. There are nine stories in total, five of which make up the main living accommodations and include four bedrooms, three of which have ensuite bathrooms, plus another bathroom.
As for the common areas: a media room makes up the first floor, and above that the dining room and kitchen, then a drawing room on the third level. An elevator goes up to the first five floors. The upper floors lead to the parapet-walkway and are accessible by stairs. In short (or tall), it’s a very impressive home, and one-of-a kind. It comes with all the best gothic trappings like an ornate facade and windows. Listed by Strutt and Parker in the village of Hadlow, the 3.45-acre property will entertain offers of two million British pounds (approximately $2.67 million) or more.