About 1866 there was much poverty in Yeovil and the surrounding districts. Many poorer people being near to starvation and begging at the larger houses. The Messiter family of Barwick House caused four follies to be erected – ‘Jack the Treacle Eater’, ‘The Fish Tower’, ‘The Ball Tower’, and ‘The Needle’ – preferring to give employment rather than alms; thereby helping to restore dignity.