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Browne's Folly

Flower-rich grasslands and ancient woodland on the remains of old Bath stone quarries

Standing high above the river Avon with commanding views towards Bath, Browne's Folly boasts flower-rich grasslands and ancient woodland on the remains of old Bath stone quarries, which has been designated as a SSSI.

 

Wildlife

The extensive remains of Bath stone quarries provide a rich variety of wildlife habitats. A delightful downland flora has covered the spoilheaps where wild thyme, harebell and nine species of orchid - including the rare fly orchid - are found. The old mines offer a safe sanctuary for the threatened greater horseshoe bat, while damp cliff faces support a fascinating variety of ferns, fungi and spiders. Pockets of ancient woodland on the lower slopes are home to woodpeckers, and unusual plants such as Bath asparagus.

 

History

The folly itself was commissioned in 1849 by Wade-Browne, a local quarry owner, supposedly to promote the quality of his building stone. At the time, the quarrying business was going through a downturn in its fortunes, and Wade-Browne saw the folly as a means of employing idle workers, as well as being an advert for his stone. The Bath stone quarries show good geological features and are a valuable insight into the area's industrial past.

Please note that the Folly building is not managed by Avon Wildlife Trust.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Grassland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Bathampton Meadow
1 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust
Conigre Mead
7 miles - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
Vincients Wood
8 miles - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Located above the village of Bathford, the small car park is off Prospect Place at the top of the steep hill. The road to the car park is extremely steep, so please be careful when accessingly in icy conditions.
Bathford
Avon
Map reference
ST 794 659
Great for...
stunning views
Best time to visit
Apr - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
4.01 hectares
Status
Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)
Access
Yes

Access from the car park. Steep slopes. Some paths are muddy in winter and are on steep slopes. Take extreme caution when approaching rock faces. Mines must not be entered. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Walking information
Some paths are muddy in winter and are on steep slopes. Take extreme caution when approaching rock faces. Mines must not be entered.
Parking
Car park is near the brow of the hill on Monkton Farleigh
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
yes
Reserve manager
Avon Wildlife Trust
Tel: 0117 917 7270
Avon Wildlife Trust

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Factsheets and guides for your visit