Needle's Eye in Brampton Bierlow, England

Needle's Eye, with a person for scale.

An idiosyncratic pyramid arch towers at the end of a tree-lined carriage road in a Wentworth field. Like all follies, it serves no real purpose, but some 300 years ago it helped an aristocrat retain his honor.

Mason John Carr built this 46-foot-tall pyramid under the instructions of the Marquis of Rockingham around 1730. According to legend, the Marquis bet a friend that he could drive his horses through the eye of a needle. He had this standalone "needle" constructed exactly wide enough for a small carriage to pass through expressly to win his wager.

The bet was allegedly only £10, massively less than the cost of building the folly.

One side of the arch is pockmarked by musket balls, which has led some to believe it was the site of an execution by firing squad. This is unsubstantiated and it is more likely it was used for target practice.


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