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Uitgeverij Europese Bibliotheek | Folkestone Warren in old picture postcards | boeken | alfabetisch-overzicht
Folkestone Warren in old picture postcards

Folkestone Warren in old picture postcards

Auteur
:   Paul Harris
Gemeente
:  
Provincie
:   Kent
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-5708-7
Pagina's
:   80
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 werkdagen (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.

   


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Folkestone Warren in old picture postcards'

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INTRODUCTION

Just east of Folkestone, on the Kent coast, lies an area of undercliff landscape almost unique in Britain, known as the Warren or Folkestone Warren. Renowned for its spectacular scenery, this wild area also boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna and an interesting geology. The Warren is one of the finest areas in the country for finding Mesozoic fossils, hosts rare orchids almost unknown elsewhere and one species of moth unique to this locale.

However, Folkestone Warren has a human history as weIl, though little known even to local people, many of whom assurne the area to have retained its primeval aspect since the earliest times. The first traces of man here date to around 700 B. C., when a thriving industry producing 'quern' stones for grinding corn was situated at the East Cliff near Copt Point, using the large stone blocks, which litter the beach here, as raw material. 'Quern' stones originating from here have been found as far afield as Northamptonshire.

Since, then, Belgic Celts and Romans maintained villas here, the most recent of which was possibly the headquarters of the Roman 'Count of the Saxon

Shore', who was charged with the defence of this coast against Saxon raiders. More recently, generations of smugglers' families lived here, their picturesque cottages nestling beneath the tall white cliffs in the woods of the undercliff landscape. Meanwhile around the Warren's perimeter several sites, including three Martello Towers, were occupied by preventative officers, keeping a watch on the nefarious activities that took place here continuously. The towers were originally built as a defence against an expected invasion by Napoleon that never came. During the 1840's the mainline railway to Dover arrived; the cottages became the homes of railway workers and coal miners, who used the train service to the mines that existed at Shakespeare Cliff, nearer Dover. Smuggling declined, the preventative force departed and the Warren became more accessible to the Victorian tourists flocking to nearby fashionable Folkestone. The 19th-century visitor would have found a very different Warren to that of today. A hundred years ago there was less tree cover, the area being more of a grassland with occasion al patches of woodland and scrub. Cattle and

sheep grazed here freely whilst ramblers stopped for tea at lonely cottages. In time the area was developed as a 'pleasure ground' complete with picnic areas beside lake-sized ponds, tearooms, toilets and even a railway station.

Since then extensive landslips have altered the topography of the Warren and drainage has been improved to reduce the threat of further earth movement to the mainline railway. This, combined with the prohibition of grazing in the Warren from 1924, the concentration of modest commercial development around the outside of the area rather than its heart and the closure of the Warren Halt station have changed the character of the area substantially. There are now no longer the large ponds and open grasslands of yore, instead an extensive development of woodland and scrub. Now protected and managed as a nature reserve, the Warren has become a natural wildemess rather than a 'pleasure ground', attracting ramblers and naturalists rather than hordes of day trippers and campers. This of course is in line with today's more ecologically aware approach to such areas.

A walker can now explore the leafy bowers beneath the cliffs unaware of the area's past history and the changes it has wrought. It is these changes I have tried to capture in this book using a selection of old photographs drawn from various sources. Many of the pictures were provided by the Heritage Room, Folkestone Library, KCC Arts and Libraries and I must particulary thank Mrs. Janet Adamson for her invaluable assistance. I would also like to th ank Eamonn Rooney, John Rendle, Chris Phi11ips and John Marrin for allowing me to use pictures from their collections. Picture 76 is reproduced with kind permis sion of British Rail, the picture itself being supplied by Eurotunnel. Lastly, I must thank Ian Pakeman for providing so much practical assistance during this project.

I hope the results of presenting this compilation will not only add to the readers' knowIedge, but also to their enjoyment of this much-loved area.

Folkestone, July 1993

Paul Harris

1. This romantic view on a very early postcard wel! iIlustrates the Warren ofthe last century. A picturesque wilderness as yet uncrossed by the railway to Dover and freely grazed. The angular headland, known as the 'Harses Head' , on the lower line of the cliffs can be just discerned. The extent of the land stretching out into the bay, visible between the headland and the peaks in the foreground, is greater than at present, coastal erosion having taken its toll.

2. This painting by H.H. White shows East Wear Bay, including part of the Warren. No railway is yet visible and the whole area is more extensive than at present and lacks the tree cover seen today. The wide path that crosses the undercliff in the picture, roughly follows the route of the current rail track.

3. The old 'Pelter Brig' near the Horses Head on the Warren foreshore. Preventative officers of HM Customs and Excise were stationed here in the 1830's to prevent the arrival of contraband from the continent. The officers lived here with their families until the mid-19th century when the MarteIlo Towers were pressed into service as accommodation. This painting is by c.A. Momewick, c.1832.

4. A pre-1920's view of the East Cliff, showing three of the Martello Towers, constructed in the early 19th century as part of the country's defence against Napoleon and later used by troops aiding the prevention of smuggling via the Warren. The towers in the foreground and middle distance are now private houses and the distant tower on the hill has been converted into a Visitor Centre for tourists to the area. The buildings at the end ofthe track are part ofthe former Warren Farm ofwhich more later.

5. The Roman villa on 'Jock's Pitch' above the Warren, here seen uneovered. The villa was first excavated in 1924 and left exposed until the 1950's. The ruins were eventually covered for their own proteetion, as souvenir hunters were beeoming a problem. The villa may have been the residence of the Count of the Saxon Shore, appointed by Rome to proteet Britairi's vulnerable eoasts against Saxon raiders. A naval detaehment is thought to have been stationed here. A partial re-excavation ofthe site was carried out in 1989.

6. The 'White House' of Lieutenant Shillingford, who commanded the smuggling preventative force, stationed around the Warren. This pretty cottage once stood near the seashore at East Wear Bay just below 'Jock's Pitch'. Unfortunately it feil victim to the ever-crumbling cliff, collapsing in a landslip in January 1865. This romantic painting is by W. Wightwick and is dated April 1864.

7. This beautiful scene must be dated around the same time, as the White House is still in existence. The Warren here exhibits its earlier aspect of an open, grassy landscape beneath the cliffs. Beneath the distant Martello Tower, the building in darkness is the former Warren Inn ofwhich more later. Under the high cliffs in the distance can he seen a steam train passing on its way to Dover. Such evocative pictures make one wish time travel were possible.

8. Camping above the Warren between the wars. Before formal camping sites were established, the area now known as 'Jock's Pitch' was used for this purpose. In the middle distance can be seen a low, light-coloured structure, being a temporary covering for the Roman villa excavations. The cliff edge has retreated considerably since this photograph was taken, now being situated roughly where the large bush and bell tent appear in the picture.

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