Commanding views towards Bath with ancient woodland and flower-rich grasslands where rare orchids grow.

Location

1 Prospect Pl, Bathford, Bath BA1 7TW, UK
Bathford
A static map of Browne's Folly

Know before you go

Size
40 hectares

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

Some paths are muddy in winter and are on steep slopes. Take extreme caution when approaching rock faces. Mines must not be entered.

Access

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.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April 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.  

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.

Contact us

Avon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 0117 917 7270

Environmental designation

Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)