This remarkable Folly in Dinton is listed as a scheduled ancient monument and is said to host paranormal activity. The impressive three-storey folly - which is also described as a castle - was renovated in 2018 and has a platform offering panoramic views.
The octagonal folly, which sits atop a Saxon burial ground, was built in 1769 by Sir John Vanhattem who also owned nearby Dinton Hall. He used the folly to store his huge collection of fossils and ammonites, many of which were unearthed from the local chalk quarry.
A raging fire ripped through the ancient dwelling in around 1800, after which it stood empty for nearly 200 years. Following more than 200 years of lying in ruin, it was purchased in 2016.
The optimistic couple who bought it were Jamie and Mimi Fernandez who paid over the odds price of £165k for it. They went on to document the restoration process on the the popular TV series Grand Designs in 2018.
The property can just about be seen from the A418 near Aylesbury . It is well known by people living in the area as being haunted, but few know about its associated history.
The landmark is said to be haunted by the ghost of royal executioner named John Bigg, also known as the Dinton Hermit. A nearby pub describes their pub's namesake 'The Dinton Hermit' as being a man who aptly kept "three bottles around his waist, one containing milk and two containing beer."
The Dinton hermit (aka Bigg) was born in 1629 and was a clerk to a lawyer named Simon Mayne. Mayne was both a magistrate and Member of Parliament for Aylesbury in 1649.
It is thought that he ordered Bigg to perform the execution of King Charles I on 30 January 1649 outside Whitehall in London. The ghost of the possible executioner is said to still reside in the fancy folly , which was sold by the Fernandez family last year.
The buyers listed the allegedly haunted home on Airbnb in June. A night at the Dinton castle, which accommodates four guests, costs £250.
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