‘Monumenta Romana’ at Waldershare on the new North Downs Way Arts Trail (credit: Charles Holland Architects)

A striking new public artwork in the grounds of the Waldershare Estate near Dover and forming part of a new North Downs Way Arts Trail has been granted planning permission by Dover District Council.

‘Monumenta Romana’ by acclaimed Dover-based architect, Charles Holland, takes its inspiration from the Palladian-style Belvedere, an 18th century ’folly’ in the grounds of the Estate.

The Italian inspired design of ‘Monumenta Romana’ also comes from The Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route that forms part of the North Downs Way section that runs from Canterbury to Rome and which passes through the Waldershare Estate.

A series of six new public artworks is planned for the North Downs Way in Kent and Surrey, part of the International Green Pilgrimage and Experience projects funded by the European Union Regional Development fund which aims to develop and promote sustainable tourism.

The new North Downs Way Arts Trail celebrates local heritage, inspiring views, nearby communities, and surrounding wildlife, as well as encouraging visitors to explore the beautiful Kent countryside.

The ‘Monumenta Romana’ was commissioned by Dover Arts Development (DAD) on behalf of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the North Downs Way National Trail.

The octagonal 3-metre high ‘Monumenta Romana’ will be made from re-salvaged wood and  incorporates perimeter seating where pilgrims, walkers and visitors can rest and contemplate whilst taking in 360-degree views of the surrounding natural landscape.

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, the Leader of Dover District Council, said: “I am delighted to see the plans for the ‘Monumenta Romana’ approved by our planners.  It’s an exciting new addition to the cultural scene in the district and an example of how we’re working to promote sustainable rural tourism and provide new reasons for people to explore the stunning natural landscape of White Cliffs Country.”

By Ed

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