North Downs Way Sculpture Trail

24th February 2023

Take a walk among stunning sculptures in the beautiful surroundings along the North Downs Way Art Trail in Kent known as the GREAT ARTdoors!

Experience a substantial open-air gallery for everyone to enjoy for free, follow in the footsteps of pilgrims on an inspired journey through landscapes, nature and heritage, that spans woodlands and open hilltops down to the coast. Highlights include otherworldly works of art including domes with 360-degree views and sculptural seats that reflect the shapes of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Take a look below at the self-guided art walks in Kent that you can view with a story behind the sculptures.

‘After the Black Gold’ By Channel  

This sculpture is on section 12 of the North Downs Way from Canterbury to Shepherdswell 10.5 miles (16.8km).

  • Nearest postcode: CT4 6SJ
  • Where to start? Snowdown Station or Woolage Village Green  
  • What to expect: Low hills, valleys & villages 

‘After the Black Gold’ takes its inspiration from the local mining heritage of Woolage village. Known as ‘White City’ to the mining community, Woolage Village was built in 1912 to accommodate miners and workers associated with nearby Snowdown Colliery. The piece is purposely simple, it takes the form of a timber structure supporting two lean-to roof pitches which together provide shelter for a bench.  

The proposal is oriented on the axis towards the old colliery to draw a connection to the site’s history. The structure invites walkers to sit, rest and consider the layers of human intervention in this landscape.

Monumenta Romana,’ By Charles Holland Architects 

This sculpture is on section 13 of the North Downs Way from Shepherdswell to Dover 9 miles (14.5km).

  • Nearest postcode: CT15 5BB
  • Where to start? Shepherdswell Station or Shepherdswell Village Green 
  • What to expect: Open fields, woodland and villages 

The Monumenta Roman sculpture is fabricated from salvaged timber that has been recycled from flooring, barrels and even sea groins, which all form an open-framed dome surrounded by an octagonal timber seat, it’s both an object of contemplation in relation to the site and its history, a sculpture that gives 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape to walkers on the North Downs Way National Trail. The piece re-imagines the cupola that was originally intended to go on the roof of the Belvedere.

‘Coccolith’ By INSTAR

This sculpture is on section 5 of the North Downs Way from Oxted to Otford 12 miles (19km).

  • Nearest postcode: TN16 2JT
  • Where to start? North Downs Way opposite Clarks Lane Farm, Tatsfield, TN16 2JT  
  • What to expect: Rolling hills, valleys, woodland and farmland trails

Inspired by the very creatures that, 65 million years ago, formed the foundations of the North Downs Way, ‘Coccolith’ invites visitors to take a seat and immerse themselves in this rolling and quintessential landscape. This ‘Inspiring views’ commission, is built using traditional dry-stone wall techniques, using a hand-picked selection of local ironstone rock excavated from the Titsey Estate along with ‘clunch’ chalk. In ‘the round’ a set of 5 cantilever stone style seats provide the perfect spot to take the weight off and absorb the valley and ‘Inspiring Views’.

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