Sham Castle, Bath, England


Sham Castle in Bath, England

True to it’s name, Sham Castle, is indeed a fake. It is what the English call a “folly” (yes, they have an official term for “fake castle”), which means that the castle was built somewhat recently (usually 18-19th century) to resemble a medieval castle – just because someone decided they wanted a exciting, over-sized lawn ornament. In this case, the castle was built by Richard James for Ralph Allen in 1762 (though the style is clearly supposed to remind us of King Arthur‘s day). The reason why Allen dispensed large amounts of cash for a false structure nothing more than a facade and hidden away in the forest up a steep hill? To improve the view and “prospect” of his posh townhouse in central Bath. Of course. He wasn’t even the only one. Follies such as Broadway Tower, Fronthill Abbey, Hagley Hill, Castle Hill in Filleigh, Gwrych Castle, and many others exist all over the UK, and Europe. It seems that 18th and 19th Europeans were just as obsessed with castles then as we are today; the difference being that then, instead of voyaging to the real ones, they merely hired someone to build a fake one in their own backyards!

Find Other Fake Castle Follies in Europe
  1. Vajahunyad Castle in Budapest, Hungary
  2. Kruzenstein Castle near Vienna, Austria
  3. Albigny-sur-Soane near Lyon, France
  4. Gravensteen Castle in Ghent, Belgium
  5. Chateau Montmelas in the Beaujolais, France



4 thoughts on “Sham Castle, Bath, England

  1. I’m from Bristol so I may well take a look at that. Imagine the outcry now if someone from gvmt did that LOL. Thanks for the interesting post.

    • Either way, a quick trip over to Bath isn’t exactly a bad thing! It’s been over 3 years since I lived there, and I still miss that lovely city. Though sadly, people are still building things to “improve their view” though instead of fake castles, it’s bizarrely-shaped modern architecture that I just can’t understand or appreciate. Glad you enjoyed!

  2. Pingback: The Most Beautiful Places in Europe

  3. Pingback: Albigny-sur-Saône, France | The Most Beautiful Places in Europe

Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s