Hawkstone Park was created in the 18th century by Sir Roland Hill and his son Richard, 'The Great Hill'.
Some 15 miles of paths and some of the finest follies in the world were constructed in the grounds of their ancestral home. As well as the amazing follies the park had well hidden paths, secret tunnels and concealed grottos. The seats for visitors were hewn into the rock face.
To accomodate the growing numbers of sightseers visiting the park the Hawkstone Park Hotel was opened at the turn of the 19th century. Guided tours were organised and at one time Hawkstone Park was one of the most visited landscapes in Britain.
Today the incredible follies are being restored to their original splendour by English Heritage and the owners of the hotel.
The follies are reached along winding paths and tunnels with lots of steps and precipious edges. It takes around three hours to complete a tour.
Features include the White tower, the Red Castle, a death-defying Swiss Bridge, an Indian rock passage, the magnificent Serpentine Tunnel and Gingerbread Hall. In one of the caves visitors come face to face with King Arthur, rumoured to be buried here.
Towering over everything is the Monument. This 112 foot column is topped by a glittering new statue of Sir Rowland Hill the first Protestant Lord Mayor of London and the creator of this fantasy world.