Know before you go
Some paths are muddy in winter and are on steep slopes. Take extreme caution when approaching rock faces. Mines must not be entered.
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.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to September
About the reserve
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.
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.
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.