History in Structure

Folly known as Colin’s Barn, with associated boundary walls and structures

A Grade II Listed Building in Crudwell, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.633 / 51°37'58"N

Longitude: -2.0902 / 2°5'24"W

OS Eastings: 393854

OS Northings: 192690

OS Grid: ST938926

Mapcode National: GBR 2QF.DF3

Mapcode Global: VH95L.Q6CZ

Plus Code: 9C3VJWM5+5W

Entry Name: Folly known as Colin’s Barn, with associated boundary walls and structures

Listing Date: 25 February 2021

Last Amended: 21 April 2022

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1474433

ID on this website: 101474433

Location: Chedglow, Wiltshire, SN16

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Crudwell

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Tagged with: Folly


Folly, with associated boundary walls and structures, built between the late 1980s and 1999 by stained glass artist and farmer Colin Stokes.


Folly, with associated boundary walls and structures, built between the late 1980s and 1999 by stained glass artist and farmer Colin Stokes.

MATERIALS: constructed primarily of concrete block and mass concrete, and clad with local stone to the walls and roofs; some sections of roof are formed from timber beams with pantiles or asphalt sheeting laid over. It has timber plank and batten entrance doors and concrete and stone-framed windows in a variety of forms, unglazed or featuring stained glass. The floors are a combination of earth, tile, brick, and timber.

PLAN: facing roughly south the folly comprises an evolved, linear plan of interlinked one and two storey structures that extend from west to east, with the boundary walls forming an integral part of the building’s form. The principal structures appear to have been arranged as animal accommodation with a loft area to the west end, a single cell building to the east of centre known as The Hermitage and used as a retreat, and to the east end is a detached barn that is open-fronted to its north elevation.

EXTERIOR: overall the building and its boundary walls is an intricately woven, multi-level arrangement of linked forms. The west end features a combination of arches and walls supporting curved and steeply pitched roofs, with turrets, dovecotes, nesting boxes, eyebrow dormers and Romanesque-style windows as features. The shallow-pitched, two-storey range to the immediate east incorporates ground-floor stone mullion windows and a stained glass Diocletian window to the first floor. The east gable end wall has turrets, offsets and nesting boxes and extends south to form an archway that rests on the boundary wall. A single-storey wall continues to the east incorporating further stone mullion openings and terminating with a flying buttress that extends forward to form a pair of square gate piers surmounted by round turrets, each with a single nesting box and conical roof. Set back to the north is a two-bay structure with pointed archways at ground floor and a large round turret with splayed, square openings at eaves level and a bottle-kiln shaped roof.

The single-storey, single-cell range known as The Hermitage has a pitched roof and stepped gable end walls. The west doorway is flanked by narrow rectangular windows with a circular window and a stone plaque, featuring Celtic knot work, above. The eaves level timber bargeboard to the south elevation has cusped detailing and beneath is an arrangement of paired lancet windows set within relieving arches, with arched recesses beneath. The flying buttress to the south-east corner is of twisted form incorporating a dovecote and turret. There are further stained glass windows to the east and north elevation.

The single-storey, two-bay detached building to the east end has a pitched roof and is open-fronted to its north elevation.

INTERIOR: the two-storey west end forms a series of linked spaces with supporting square piers and round-arched openings, and featuring arched recesses, many incorporating stone shelves. The floors are a combination of earth, timber, and include a section of brick floor at first-floor level laid in a herringbone pattern. The walls are exposed concrete or cement-rendered, with some sections embedded with stone.

The Hermitage has a brick floor with an encaustic-tiled floor to the threshold and includes a dry-stone wall effect winder staircase and a fixed seat. The walls are decorated with plasterwork animals and foliage, and to the east end are rectangular windows with decorative iron work. The building incorporates a series of hand-crafted stained glass windows depicting representations of the four seasons and are signed and dated with a lozenge motif incorporating the initials ‘CJS’ and the date ‘’89’, as well as Stokes’ maker’s mark, the feather.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the boundary walls, of straight and curved section, have a combination of cock and hen coping stones and stone slate capping, and include gate piers, arches, nesting boxes, turrets and flying buttresses as features. The section of wall that extends south, from the south-west corner of the folly, includes two sentry posts with a conical roof containing nesting boxes.


The folly was built between the late 1980s and 1999 by Colin Stokes (1944-2018), a stained glass artist by profession, as well as a farmer of rare breed sheep and poultry. The folly that he built was initially intended to be a barn for hay storage, but it gradually evolved over several years to include sheltering for animals, a loft area for Stokes to sleep in during lambing season, and a building known as The Hermitage which was used as his retreat. To the loft and The Hermitage are stained glass windows designed and made by Stokes.

As a stained glass artist Stokes undertook numerous public and private commissions including the millennium window at the Church of All Saints (Grade I) in Crudwell.

Reasons for Listing

The folly known as Colin’s Barn, with associated boundary walls and structures, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a unique and remarkable example of a late C20 folly, a relatively rare building type;
* for its use of concrete block and mass concrete which has enabled the creation of organic and sculptural forms;
* clad in local stone, the folly has the architectural character of a dry stone wall construction, that contributes to its strong visual and aesthetic quality;
* for its imaginative and creative interpretation of the folly building type, utilising the ideology of architectural conceit in its constructional form to create the illusion of an organically evolved building of authenticity and antiquity;
* for its good level of survival retaining its form and most of its decorative elements.

Historic interest:

* as a recent example of a long tradition of folly building associated with English landscape design.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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