Dissertation  prepared for Master of Arts in Architecture, Edinburgh University, 2018 .
That the Gothic Revival was preceded by a period in which an exponential number of neo-Gothic garden buildings
and sham-ruins were built is generally acknowledged by almost all histories of the Gothic Revival written after 1970.
However, that neo-Gothic follies continued to be built in increasing numbers even after Gothic began to be used as
a domestic style, right up through to the end of the 18th century, is rarely given any significance, if mentioned at all
in histories of the Gothic Revival. This essay sets out to examine the continued influence of neo-Gothic follies to
the Gothic Revival movement in Britain, between what is generally considered to be its beginning in the late 1740s,
up until the early 19th century when Pugin and others steered the Gothic Revival towards a more archaeological

This study found the ways in which neo-Gothic follies influenced the wider Gothic Revival can perhaps be broadly
sorted into 3 categories; the influence of the neo-Gothic folly through its use as a tool for experimentation, as
precedent, and as a method of building that encouraged stylistic extremity. It found neo-Gothic follies to have had
an influence on the three significant buildings of the Gothic Revival examined and indicates that this is may be
similarly true of much of the domestic architecture of the early revival. Finally, it also highlighted a pattern of
prominent architects of the 18th century using follies as a tool for experimentation with Gothic before deploying
developed ideas in larger domestic commissions.
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