An Itinerary of Informal Use: Sound Mirrors, Forts and Caves

Here’s a preview of our upcoming October contribution to PA2015. We’re going to build upon work we have done over the past two years, departing from the vantage point of Beckton Alp, an informal commons in East London. We trace an itinerary along the Thames onto the Kent coast, visiting numerous sites – forts, bunkers and sound mirrors.

We physically and imaginatively inhabit these marginal sites – what might be described as heritage without value – extending the heritage discourse by bringing notions of longue durée into direct contact with informal use, lived experience and creative encounter.

We’ve presented this work at a number of conferences, workshops and exhibitions, most recently:

  • Ruins of Defensive Architectures: Dwelling, Tombs and Monuments at Reconfiguring Ruins workshop, The Museum of London Archaeology, Jan 2015.
  • Reimagining the Ruins of Defensive Architectures at the Reimagining Rurality conference, Westminster University Architecture Department, Mar 2015.
  • Between Earth, Air and Water: Reimagining Peripheral Landscapes through Abandoned Defensive Architectures and Rock Cut Burial Sites, at the International Association of Visual Urbanists conference, British Library, May 2015.
  • Recording Process and Rhythm in Experimental Archaeology at the European Association of Archaeology annual conference, organised by Antonia Thomas and Dan Lea of the University of Islands and Highlands, Glasgow, Sept 2015.
  • Engaging with Topographies and Traces, The Beaches Symposium as part of The Topographies organised by Anne Bottomley from Kent Law School, Sept 2015.

Here are some of the sites we will be introducing to you in the coming month:

Forts and bunkers:

  • Darnet and Hoo Forts, River Medway, Kent.
  • Warden Point, Isle of Sheppey, Kent.
  • Isle Grain Battery, Isle of Grain, Kent.
  • Cliffe Fort, Kent.

Sound mirrors:

  • Denge, Dungeness, Kent.
  • Hythe, Kent.
  • Fan Bay, Kent.
  • Abbot’s Cliff, Kent.

In June 2015, SSG also applied its creative methodology to fieldwork and experimental archaeology in South West China.

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