Forbidden Corner

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'The Facetower' at The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner is a folly garden located in the Tupgill Park Estate, at Coverham in Coverdale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. It is opened to the public.[1]

The whole garden covers four acres.[2][2]


The Forbidden Corner was built in the 1980s by the owner of Tupgill Park, Colin Armstrong, with architect Malcolm Tempest, as a private pleasure garden. The Armstrongs had been living at the estate since the Victorian era.[1] It is based in the walled gardens of the 1483-acre estate.[1]

The garden was opened to the public in 1997, with a £4.50 entrance fee. As of 2000, the gardens were visited by 80,000 people,[1] and employed around 25 people.[1]

Mr Armstrong did not obtain planning permission for public use of the garden at the time[1] and a retroactive planning application was rejected in 2000; the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority cited concern for the environmental impact of cars thronging to the garden. A petition to keep the park open was signed by 10,000 people. An enforcement order to remove the structures and close the site to the public was made but overturned on appeal in 2000, on condition of restricting the number of visitors entering the site to 120 each hour.[1]


The garden features statues, sculptures, towers, underground tunnels, a labyrinth (with revolving floor), a twelve-foot conifer dog's head, a twenty-foot oak green man, water fountains, as well as grottoes. It also has a café and gift shop.[1]

It is set out as a maze, and visitors are given a checklist of things to find on their visit. A brass-rubbing sheet is also available to complete which 15 plaques hidden around the attraction.

The garden was voted the best European folly of the 20th century by the Folly Fellowship and best children's attraction in Yorkshire.[2] It was rated as one of the top 10 follies by Huffington Post.[3]


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Forbidden Corner)



  • 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 'Dales planners to shut garden folly to deter tourists' David Harrison in The Telegraph 2 July 2000; 'Objection to garden was folly, says victorious estate owner' Paul Stokes in The Telegraph, 16 August 2000
  • 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Forbidden Corner on Day Out with the Kids
  • 'The Top 10 Pieces Of Folly Architecture': Huffington Post 14 November 2011