TRAIL TIPS // A special selection of sites along the CHALKUP21 Trail that are well worth pausing for while you enjoy your walk from one of the 9 STRUCTURES to the next. Read about the TRAIL TIPS below and view the site marked on the interactive map.
ST JAMES DEVELOPMENT’S “TOWN WALL” VIEW ON MAP While you’re in the area, take a peek at the new ‘town wall’ that has been built for the St James development. The developers have constructed the wall in order to ‘the best possible match to existing flint walls and buildings in the vicinity’, in keeping with the old methods and materials that would have been used centuries ago. As the St James development progresses through 2018, it will be interesting to see what other “attractions” emerge. Watch this space!
SOUND MIRRORS A forerunner of radar, acoustic mirrors were built on the south and northeast coasts of England between 1916 and 1930s and two can be located at Fan Bay, along the CHALKUP21 trail between The White Cliffs Visitors Centre and South Foreland Lighthouse VIEW ON MAP and another between The Wing at Capel-le-Ferne and Samphire Hoe VIEW ON MAP. The ‘listening ears’ were intended to provide early warning of incoming enemy aircraft. As well as being icons of early long-range sound detection, they also provide a striking concrete appearance on the lush green landscape.
VOYSEY HOUSE VIEW ON MAP Charles Voysey is a renowned English architect who has been considered one of the pioneers of modern architecture. One of his buildings is located at St Margaret’s at Cliffe and can be found on the path towards the Pines Calyx. ‘High Gaut’, as it is now known, is reputedly the last house completed by the Arts & Crafts architect Charles Voysey in 1914. In the ‘Buildings of England’ for East Kent, John Newman describes it as Voysey’s style distilled to its absolute essentials: white rough-cast walls, slate roof, stone window mullions and a sharp sense of proportion.
NESS POINT VIEW ON MAP Into this very English setting along the North Downs Way, the architect Tonkin Liu has dropped Ness Point, an unashamedly modernist new house. With its undulating white-rendered walls topped by a sloping green roof, Ness Point can be read as an abstraction of the white cliffs on which it sits. Indeed, it is named after the prominent prow of cliff that sticks out into the channel and forms the closest point to France. It also clearly references the practice’s previous work on Dover Esplanade, ‘Three Waves’, where it designed a series of gently billowing steps and concrete retaining walls that wobble along the seafront like melting ice creams.
Ness Point fits cleverly into its context, a confidently contemporary object that isn’t overly demonstrative or aggressively out of place. It makes a good counterpoint to Voysey’s modest white cottage on the clifftop opposite too. While High Gaut sits demurely behind a hedge, giving only half an eye to the view, Tonkin Liu’s Ness Point embraces it. The contemporary attitude to landscape is to have as uninterrupted view of it as possible. More interestingly, Ness Point consciously places itself into this view, forming an abstracted representation of the landscape around it.