White Nancy Folly is located near to Bollington in Cheshire and was built to commemorate the battle that effectively ended the career of Napoleon – one of the most famous military leaders of all time.
It was built by John Gaskell Junior of Ingersley Hall, around 1817 to commemorate the victory of the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. White Nancy Folly stands on the saddle of Kerridge ridge, 918 feet above sea level and from which, on a clear day, it is possible to see Snowdonia in Wales. In its original state White Nancy Folly would have had a door and windows. Inside stood a stone table and circular stone bench and it is believed the Gaskell family enjoyed using it for picnics looking out at the wonderful views.
Sadly, today (2015) the building is now sealed up to stop vandalism so the interior is lost to visitors. The exterior is painted white with a black ball decretive top. During WWII it was painted a darker colour as it was feared German bombers would use it as a landmark during the 1939-45 war. The Royal Signal Corps used the ridge for operational purposes parking their trucks near to White Nancy and transmitting signals to the south coast.
The building is circular and described as a ‘sugar loaf.’ Built from sandstone rubble it stands around 18 feet high. At the base, paving stones have been laid with inscriptions of the points of a compass. Over the years it has been used to commemorate various official celebrations.
In 2012, a Jubilee crown with the dates 1952-2012 were added to the North West face and Olympic rings were added to the south east face. On occasions of remembrance, it has been painted with a large red poppy.
From the vantage point of White Nancy visitors can see across the Cheshire Plain towards the mountains of north Wales and the Shropshire hills to the south, with the Pennines to the north and east.
There is a trail that is clearly signposted and ramblers can enjoy the peace and quiet on their way to the folly. It is AA recommended and the trail takes visitors through fields, farm tracks and woodland.
This location does require a good level of fitness and wearing appropriate footwear is essential. Starting from Bollington town centre it is around 3.5 miles.
Why the folly should be called White Nancy is something of a mystery. While its bright painted exterior explains the ‘white’ part of the name the ‘Nancy’ part is a little more confused. Some say it was the name of the horse that took helped take the stone to the hilltop while others say that it was named after one of Gaskell’s daughters. The reason for its shape is equally bemusing and to the best of our knowledge has never been resolved.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Kinder Road, Hayfield, High Peak
Derbyshire, England, SK22 2LE
+44 (0)1663 745 394
- Address: Windmill Lane, Bollington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, UK, SK10 5BA
- GPS: 53.29098889,-2.092352778
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: SK10 5BA
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: None
- Visibility from Road: Very Limited and from a distance