19th-century tower revealed in Tarring

The folly in South Street
The folly in South Street

A 19TH-CENTURY architectural gem has been unveiled to the residents of Tarring, thanks to the efforts of a neighbouring resident.

Until now, the folly in South Street has been hiding behind several years’ worth of trees and foliage.

However, since South Street resident Nick Patenall took to the overgrowth with his gardening tools, the folly is now on full view of passers-by.

Nick, 54, said: “The folly is in my neighbours’ garden, and I’ve always know it was there but it’s always been hidden. Nothing was really being done about the overgrowth so I took it upon myself to clear it.”

Nick said he started gradually chopping away the shrubbery last year, but now his hard work has finally paid off.

“I have had people come up to me and say how they have lived here for 20 years and have never realised it was there before,” he said. “I thought it can now be another amenity for the Worthing community.”

Next to the folly, there is a plaque which reads: “The adjacent tower was erected by W. Osborne Boyes in 1893”.

According to historian Roger Davies, author of the book Tarring: A Walk Through Its History, Mr Osborne Boyes was a solicitor, who had the tower built as a study to find solitude from his children. The folly was restored in the 1950s, but has not been touched since.

Worthing historian and author of Worthing: A History, Chris Hare, said: “Follies were very popular in Victorian times, and are a hallmark of their eccentricity, really. It has been hidden for years so it’s fantastic it is in full view of the public once more.

“I believe Mr Osborne Boyes also had trouble sleeping, and would retire to his tower in the early hours to watch the sun rise over the sea, in those days he would have had an unobstructed view of the horizon.”