Sugar Loaf Folly, Brightling: The landmark built purely to help a man win a bet

There are many reasons to build a folly, and winning a bet is probably as good as any.

Old stories are peppered with characters named ‘Mad Jack’ and the history of the Sugar Loaf Folly at Brightling is no different. One John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller is said to have built this strange, conical structure in the 1820s, to win a wager.

He had bet that he could see the spire of St Giles’s, Dallington, from his house and, realising his mistake, needed to create a false one in a hurry.

Although only 15ft in diameter and containing two storeys connected by a ladder, a family lived here in the late 19th century and, during the Second World War, it was a machine-gun post.

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