Folly near West Burton

Shaun Whiteman

Preston, United Kingdom

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Taken with a Canon 50D, Sigma 17-70 lens at 17mm, F11, shutter speed 1/13 to 1/3 seconds ISO100, processed in Photomatix and tweaked in Photoshop

Whilst touring around the Yorkshire Dales during our Easter holiday we saw what looked like Thunderbird One on a hillside near West Burton. One evening when we had a stunning sunset I went over to investigate, there apperared to be no markings on it, there were no signs stating what it was. The only thing we could find out is that it was built by a wealthy land owner, the folly was by the side of his huge house before they dismantled the house….not sure how much of this is correct…..

I have been email the following update….

In the 18th and 19th Centuries Wensleydale was thriving. Scores of lead mines were in full production and a busy railway ran the length of the Dale. The sheep were eating grass and getting fat as if there was no tomorrow (which for them there probably wasn’t). In this entrepreneurial climate, and encouraged by the writings of Jules Verne, civic leaders embarked on a project that would ultimately be known as The Great Wensleydale Moonshot Fiasco.
The technology of the time and the limited availability of suitable materials meant that the rocket ship was constructed from local stone. It was ‘manned’ by goats, these creatures being considered more nimble in zero gravity and more adaptable in diet than sheep. Despite the ready availability of gunpowder from the lead mines the eight hundred ton stone rocket ship could not be persuaded to leave the ground for longer than two seconds. Many brave goats gave their lives in vain before the project was abandoned, and the distinctive stringy smoked donar kebab of the district remains to this day a local delicacy. The rocket ship still stands in lower Wensleydale, a monument to man’s folly, in the shadow of the West Burton TV transmitter.
…. from website tx.mb21.co.uk

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west burton yorkshire dales folly

Artwork Comments

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  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
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  • Kelly Robinson
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