Onto the fastnesses of the Isle of Thanet in Kent, after attempting to con fisherfolk and old salts into taking the Unmitigated Circus out to the Martian-like Maunsell forts nine miles off Whitstable. More at another time, when the Ashley Shilling has finally been taken. And so to Quex Park in Birchington, where the simply extraordinary Waterloo Tower sits out in the fields surrounded by dark yews. This has been on the Wanted List for some time, a red brick tower with four corner pavilions that suddenly sprout a cast-iron open weave spire balanced on the turrets. The Eiffel-like edifice is modelled on the 1799 Faversham church spire which adopted very similar buttresses in order to soften the blow should it fall into the town as a result of an explosion at the nearby gunpowder works. Built at the behest of John Powell Powell in 1819, the tower (constructed by the Quex Head Carpenter and Sandwich ironfounder William Mackney) contains a ring of twelve bells- surely one of the most unique places that bells are still rung in the country- and doubles-up as both a Battle of Waterloo commemoration and family mausoleum. My thanks to the good offices of the estate in sanctioning my intrusion, but acknowledgement for the blog title must given to Commentator Diplomat, who took one look at the photograph and gasped "Destination Moon" which, as any Tintin fan will recognise, sums it all up very nicely indeed.
2 days ago