brianaw

12 Oct 2016 164 views
 
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photoblog image Around Old John 3/5

Around Old John 3/5

The prominent landmark in Bradgate Park is the folly known as 'Old John' on the top of the highest hill. Built by the Greys in 1784, the folly is, by local legend, a memorial to John, an estate worker killed in a bonfire accident during celebrations of the 21st birthday of the future eighth Earl of Stamford. However he was not 21 until 1786, and a map of 1745 names the hill as 'Old John'. The tower was used during the 19th century as a viewing point for the horse-racing practice circuit laid out by the seventh earl.

 

Around Old John 3/5

The prominent landmark in Bradgate Park is the folly known as 'Old John' on the top of the highest hill. Built by the Greys in 1784, the folly is, by local legend, a memorial to John, an estate worker killed in a bonfire accident during celebrations of the 21st birthday of the future eighth Earl of Stamford. However he was not 21 until 1786, and a map of 1745 names the hill as 'Old John'. The tower was used during the 19th century as a viewing point for the horse-racing practice circuit laid out by the seventh earl.

 

comments (17)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 12 Oct 2016, 00:48
Old John looks like a lot of fun, Brian.
Brian Walbey: It is Ray but also a steady climb, this is taken from about tow thirds of the way up the hill, a real breath taker for unfit persons like me!
Très joli site avec cette tour au fond.
Brian Walbey: One of the most popular tourist places round my way Martine.
Nicely composed, Brian. It looks a busy place.
Brian Walbey: At weekends and Bank Holidays it is heaving with people, us retired folks can go at quieter time of the week!
You're composition uses the people very nicely for scale!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Elizabeth, whilst not being as high as a proper mountain it is quite a steady climb up the slope from the bottom, this is about two thirds of the way up.
What I most love about this image, Brian, is the people showing scale to this place, as Elizabeth has just said!
Brian Walbey: It is a difficult place to photograph and get a sense of its height, this is about two thirds of the way up.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 12 Oct 2016, 07:12
Perhaps someone will research its real name derivation, Brian
Brian Walbey: Philine already has after you made this comment Lisl smile
  • Chris
  • England
  • 12 Oct 2016, 07:21
How nice to see people out enjoying the walks here
Brian Walbey: There's a real choice of walks either up and down the hills or on relatively flat footpaths, a great place to visit with two excellent tearooms as well.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 12 Oct 2016, 07:42
We come nearer and nearer to Old John - this is a lovely way upwards.
Brian Walbey: It is quite a steep climb Philine, this is about two thirds of the way up.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 12 Oct 2016, 07:51
"Another story takes into account the fact that before Old John owned the horizon, the hillside belonged to a wooden windmill. It was a pole windmill (Yes, another mention of a pole) – which meant it swivelled on a central shaft to face whatever direction the wind was blowing.

The last miller who worked there was reputed to have been a man called... Old John. Although we know the last owner of the windmill was a William Platts. His windmill is believed to have been destroyed in the summer storms of 1784.

Platts subsequently built his next windmill on Lint Hill in Newtown Linford in 1789.

And, there’s another story, quilled by a cartographer in the year 1754. On a map of Leicestershire and of Bradgate Park it says Old John next to a windmill in full sail. Old John being the name of the hill."
Brian Walbey: Thanks for this Philine, I'd not come across the windmill story before.
One has to be careful with these old legends Brian, but they are interesting nonetheless.
Brian Walbey: Philine has done her research and come up with two different legends Chad.
We definitely went here with Trimbo. I took some pictures of this but not as good as yours
Brian Walbey: Thanks Bill. You certainly covered some ground on that day out with Richard.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 12 Oct 2016, 10:13
Neat to build a tower for viewing horses. They should rather say the Earl was a visionary and he knew that with cars and what all, people would need exercise in the 21st century. So, he built a tower for all to stare at.
Brian Walbey: From somebody who ought to be fitter I can say that to get to the top of the hill is quite hard work, this is about two thirds of the way to the top.
I love seeing how many people are out enjoying what you are as well.
Brian Walbey: At weekends and Bank Holidays it is heaving with people, us retired folks can go at quieter time of the week!
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 12 Oct 2016, 12:11
"On the 31st October 1786 a huge open-air fire was built on the Hill by the 5th Earl of Stamford to mark the coming of age of his son, George Harry. Legend has it that a bonfire timber burnt through, falling amongst the guests and accidentally killing an old retainer of the Bradgate Estate called John.

After the accident, the 5th Earl is reputed to have decreed that the Tower be named in affectionate memory of “Old John”. It is said that the stonework at the side of the Tower was altered so it looked like a handle – perhaps knowing the old man’s liking of ale, it was deliberately modelled to give the Tower its familiar beer tankard shape of today”
Brian Walbey: Thanks once again Philine.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 12 Oct 2016, 19:21
What a fabulous view, amazing what an wonderful,point of view. Love the patches of rock in between the grass.
Brian Walbey: Thanks Astrid, you can see from the worn footpaths how many people walk up and down this hill.
  • paul
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 Oct 2016, 21:07
I have a few pics of old john in my archive too - mostly the product of too many evenings spent in leicester with nothing to do but go for a walk and take photos
Brian Walbey: The trouble is that so many pictures are taken of Old John it must be difficult to come up with something completely original.
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 13 Oct 2016, 17:39
Now I did not expect to see rocky outcrops in that part of the world (no idea what made me think that, though). It certainly seems a popular place.
Brian Walbey: The whole of this part of Leicestershire rests on a large area of Granite hence all the quarries in the area which is good because for 25 years I worked for Hanson Quarries almost until I retired.

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