About us

About The Follies Trust

The Follies Trust is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. We have neither staff nor office so all donations go towards restoring follies. There are 8 directors and 10 friends who, in a voluntary capacity, guide and direct the trust.

99.3% of funds raised by the Follies Trust is spent on projects

At the Follies Trust AGM in February 2016 the accounts for the previous year (1 November 2014-31 October 2015) were discussed. It was reported that it was a very successful year for the company with a record level of expenditure over project work.  In the context of some charities being criticised for having very high overheads, the Follies Trust, during the year ending 31 October 2015, spent £124,000 upon project work towards achieving the objectives of the Trust and only £922 upon essential overheads such as insurance, audit and bank charges. The Trust has no paid staff and no office and does not refund the expenses of the trustees and others who provide strategic direction for the Trust. In other words, 99.3% of the funds raised by the Follies trust were applied directly to achieving the objectives of the Trust.

The Trust’s first project was to restore three grade B+ listed mausolea in Knockbreda churchyard, Belfast. Architectural historian James Stevens Curl describes them as ‘the oddest and finest of buildings in the genre in Ulster, [which]…cannot be surpassed architecturally…’ [See Projects]

Once a year we have an outing so we can enjoy and admire some of Ireland’s interesting and intriguing follies.

The Follies Trust in Clonbern, Co. Galway

The Follies Trust in Clonbern, Co. Galway

The Follies Trust has conserved and restored sixteen follies and is planning work on four more projects around Ireland. [See Projects]


Some of the crowd attending the celebration for the restoration of the Victorian bathing house at Ardglass, Co Down

Read the Irish Times article about the Follies Trust

Read the London Times article about Dick’s life and work.

Read the Belfast Telegraph article about some of the work by the Follies Trust.

Read an award winning article about Irish follies published in the USA (Saturday Evening Post) by Sally Shivnan, a Professor at the University of Maryland.

FOLLIES:FRIVOLOUS OR FUNCTIONAL – for an overview of follies read this article by Iona Erskine Andrews published in Historic Buildings Council for Northern Ireland Report 2010-13

The Follies Trust is ten years old

An article in Perspective magazine May-June 2017 p.62-64, by Connie Gerrow, entitled ‘The Follies Trust: A Decade and Counting’ celebrates.


Inland Revenue Charity reference XR93693

Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101116. Company limited by guarantee:NI060272