...this shepherd's hut belonging to a well-known author and tv presenter* who lives near the place where we stayed in Sussex. Isn't it beautiful? Don't tell anyone, but I am slightly in love with her husband too, or at least, with how he appears on tv and with his writing. I've obviously reached a certain age... it'll be hot flushes next.
Anyway, speaking of heat, it was on the hottest day of our holiday and possibly the whole year that we decided to visit all six of the wonderfully quirky Brightling Follies, erected by John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, squire of Brightling, politician and great supporter of the arts and sciences, in the early nineteenth century. I am married to a man who loves a good folly, so armed with a map and guide, we set off to find them all.
The first was the 'Sugar Loaf', supposedly built rather hastily as the result of a wager made by Mad Jack that he could see the spire of Dallington church from his land.
It had a little entrance doorway, and inside was a fireplace and the signs of a second storey where someone had once lived.
Next was the circular tower, hidden away in a little secret wood full of nettles and chestnut horses. It is believed to have been built so that Jack could view the ongoing restoration work on Bodiam Castle, which he had bought.
Some people were keen enough to climb to the top on a rickety ladder...
Next, a splendid observatory on the top of a hill.
And a classical temple in the middle of Brightling Park.
The Brightling Needle is 65 feet high and thought to have been built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo.
John 'Mad Jack' Fuller (1757-1834) is buried in this beautiful stone pyramid tucked away in the furthest corner of Brightling churchyard, now beautifully adorned with the self-sown daisy flowers of Erigeron Karvinskianus and full of mystery and intrigue, perhaps just as he would have hoped.
*If you can't guess who I'm on about, here's the shepherd's hut in a more familiar pose...