My main issue in exploring the follies and rogue architecture of this area was one of boundaries. It was my original intention to confine my efforts to the Peak District National Park, but I quickly discovered that the best sites in this area are to be found outside the National Park. This led me to think in terms of 'The North Midlands' but I then realised that the range involved would take me beyond the scope of my resources. In the end, I settled for 'Exploring Follies in and around the Peak District'. This softened my boundaries somewhat, so the reader should not be too surprised to find follies not included, simply because they are beyond my 'decided range'. The magnificently awesome follies at Hawkstone Park for example, are not here included, simply because I perceived Shropshire as 'overstepping the mark'. The range of follies at Shugborough Park, however, being nearer to 'Peakland' are included. In the absence of concrete geographical boundaries I have had to be fairly arbitrary in my choices. (Hopefully not too much so!)
The style of follies hereabouts tends to be markedly different in character to prospect tower dominated Yorkshire. The 'rock hermitage' sort of folly is very much in evidence in these parts, along with temples and Tudor period 'hunting stands'. (Whether or not these merit the description 'folly' is of course open to conjecture.)
Travelling around this area in search of follies, took me to an district I had never really explored before. As a Pennine Yorkshireman I found Peakland softer than the Pennines, but much more subtle and secretive about its treasures, despite being the oldest and probably most visited national park area in Britain. I searched maps, followed up numerous leads, but suspect I left out much. Perhaps my readers can advise me? I spent a year 'doing' the 'Peakland Follies' and never was my time so fascinatingly spent! This work was intended to be Volume 3 of my 'Ivory Towers' series, but in an increasingly saturated guidebooks market I was unable to get it published. Consequently It proved to be my last 'walkers guide' and I have not been moved to write one since. Now thanks to the wonders of internet technology here it is here (gratis!) for anyone to read! Welcome to the follies of Peakland! may your hiking boots know joy!