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Photographer: Andrew Barnett

The Pimple

Gazetteer No. G0591

Date 1914

Address Tavistock, Devon PL19 9AQ England


The Pimple is essentially a folly, built to cover the entrance to a reservoir which was to provide water for a new development sponsored by the Duke of Bedford. The major part of the development at Tavistock was not built, although Lutyens did design Little Court for Major Gallie at the top end of Down Row. The structure was originally designated as “The Outlook.” Lutyens placed the triangular stone folly with its circular base at the top of a mound which provided scenic views of the surrounding countryside. Wooden benches were provided around the perimeter, making it the perfect resting place during a countryside walk.

The triangular structure of local Hurdwick stone supported three-sided tetrahedral roof of Cornish Delabole slate. (The building was re-roofed with Delabole slate in the 1990s.) Each wall is just over 13 feet wide (13.12 feet). The primary ornament given to the building was a small, rounded finial at the apex of the roof that led to the nickname “The Pimple.” A metal stairway inside the building provided access to the reservoir (40 feet by 40 feet, holding up to 100,000 gallons of water). (Contributor: Robyn Prater)


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Duke of Bedford