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HER Number:MDV14288
Name:The Folly, Wooda


Mid 19th century former folly. Converted to a residence in 1982.


Grid Reference:SS 453 261
Map Sheet:SS42NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBideford
Ecclesiastical ParishBIDEFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NE/51
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 375900

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FOLLY (XIX to XX - 1848 AD to 1982 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 1973, Bideford Borough (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV7002.

The tower in the grounds of Wooda was built as a garden folly or look-out circa 1865-1870.

Devon County Council, 1975, Bideford Town Trail, 77 (Article in Monograph). SDV352469.

A gazebo built circa 1840 by Mr. Abbot, a Bideford iron founder and a Mr. Baker as a pleasant resort for their families on sunny afternoons. Originally, the building comprised only a ground and first floors but it was later enlarged and another floor added. The later brickwork looks much harsher compared to the earlier part of the building. A stone set in an adjacent wall is inscribed '1848 G. RICHARDS' which presents a puzzle. It is suggested that he may have done some building or refurbishing work.

Timms, S. C., 1980, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV336586.

The folly is built of local stone with brick dressings. Pointed heads to windows and crenellated parapet. Floors and furnishings have been removed and it is now derelict. Good views over Bideford and the Torridge.
An unattributed painting of Bideford in the Burton Art Gallery shows the folly but not the railway which was built in 1855. This folly may date to circa 1850.

Unknown, 1981, Ruined Folly Going at Knock-Down Price … (Article in Serial). SDV336585.

Planning application to demolish folly has been made, but there are plans for possible conversion.

Goodwin, N., 1989, Folly Originally in Grounds of Wooda (Worksheet). SDV336584.

Folly originally in grounds of Wooda. Altered to a house with bungalow extension. A plaque found in the grounds and now incorporated in bungalow wall reads: G. R. Richards, 1848. Tower stone built in excellent condition.

Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Residential Development at New Road, Bideford, 6 (Report - Assessment). SDV13528.

Converted to a residence circa 1982 .

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

The Folly including boundary walls on north and south sides (Formerly Listed as:Torridge Hill "Woodah" (or "Wooder") with the Tower in the grounds).
Folly, originally belonging to Wooda, on Torridge Hill; converted into a house about 1982. General appearance late 19th century, but it may be an enlargement of an earlier building, perhaps of 1848; north wing added about 1982. Stone rubble with cream-brick dressings; west side rendered. Roof not visible from below. Small rectangular building with splayed corners on east side; added wing on north. Two storeys on a high plinth; addition single-storeyed. Battlemented structure set on high ground overlooking the town and the River Torridge; on north side a sheer rocky drop to Torridge Hill, cut through about 1825. South front of 3-window range, including one window on the splayed corner; one window on east front, another on the farther splayed corner, and a third on north front. Pointed-arched windows (except for flat-headed one in upper storey of east front) with plain glazing; cream-brick surrounds in upper storey. Raised bands above plinth and each upper storey, the top one of cream brick finished with a battlemented parapet. The stone bands do not extend to the left-hand window of the south front and the corresponding part of north front is merely rendered. West end of south front and all the battlements have cream-brick quoins. Set into the wall of the addition is a stone tablet discovered when the foundations were dug. It reads: G. RICHARDS 1848. On north side of garden, on the cliff-edge, is a section of battlemented stone-rubble wall. Similar wall on south side, abutting the house, except that in the west section the battlements are more crudely formed of upright blocks of stone. The building is not shown on the Bideford Tithe map of 1841. George Richards was an actuary living at Wooder (now Wooda) on Torridge Hill in 1850.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV13528Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Residential Development at New Road, Bideford. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.33. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.
SDV336584Worksheet: Goodwin, N.. 1989. Folly Originally in Grounds of Wooda. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV336585Article in Serial: Unknown. 1981. Ruined Folly Going at Knock-Down Price …. Western Morning News. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV336586Worksheet: Timms, S. C.. 1980. Worksheet.
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV352469Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Bideford Town Trail. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 77.
SDV7002List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Bideford Borough. Historic Houses Register. Website.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 22 2015 4:02PM