Painshill Park Follies – Cobham, England - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Cobham, England

Painshill Park Follies

Amazing collection of folly buildings in Cobham, Surrey. 

Considered one of the best remaining examples of an 18th-century English landscape park, Painshill is a popular tourist destination.

Owned by the Elmbridge Borough Council and managed by the Painshill Park Trust, Painshill Park has been around for well over two hundred years: It was created by Charles Hamilton between 1738 and 1773.

Born in Dublin in 1704, Hamilton was the 14th child of the 6th Earl of Abercorn. Educated at Westminster School and Oxford, Hamilton spent much of his time on grand tours of the world. Over the years, he built Painshill up to more than 200 acres. His influence was such that his park helped to launch the Landscape Movement in England in 1730.

Many of the trees that you will find in Painshill were shipped in all the way from Philadelphia by the naturalist John Bartram. The Great Cedar tree in the park is thought to be the largest of its kind in all of Europe.

Know Before You Go

Painshill Park can be reached via the M25 / J10 / A3 towards London. Exit at Junction with A245 towards Cobham.