Charles Holland’s Monumenta Romana

Via Francigena Arts Trail

Dover Arts Development is delighted to announce the commission of Charles Holland Architect’s  Monumenta Romana to be Installed on the North Downs Way as it passes through the Earl of Guildford’s Waldershare Estate, in Dover District.

The artwork is the first of three planned for the Via Francigena Art Trail, between Canterbury and Dover made possible with funding from the Interreg Europe Green Pilgrimage Project.

Dover Arts Development was awarded the contract by open tender from KCC to deliver the project management of the three new public art commissions for the Via Francigena section of the North Downs Way National Trail, back in March.

Now for the first time we are able to make something public; We are really delighted that Charles Holland’s Monumenta Romana will be sited on the Earl of Guildford’s Waldershare Estate. The North Downs Way crosses through both Canterbury and Dover districts and the Via Francigena artworks will provide opportunities for future pilgrims and walkers to reflect and renew themselves as they connect with contemporary artworks of excellence on this ancient Pilgrim route. As project manager we are very pleased to be developing the Via Francigena Art trail with Kent Downs ANOB and the North Downs Way with support from Dover and Canterbury District councils.’  Joanna Jones

Monumenta Romana promotes the special characteristics of the Via Francigena and its pilgrimage heritage as a route for reflection and renewal from Canterbury to Rome. It draws on the role of pilgrimage in art, historical connections between England and Italy and ideas of the ruin and the relic as well as reflecting on the relationship between public and private experience of landscape.

The sculpture takes its inspiration from The Belvedere, an 18th century  ’folly’ visible from the site in one direction where Aylesham is visible in the distance from the other. The Belvedere is an early example of Palladian architecture in England, a style of architecture imported from Italy and the new artwork draws on aspects of its design as well as artistic cross-currents between the two countries. 

 ‘We are really pleased to be working with Kent Downs AONB, North Downs Way and Dover Arts Development on a new public artwork for the Via Francigena Art Trail. Both the site on the North Downs Way and the themes of pilgrimage and artistic relationships between England and Italy are very important influences for us and we are thrilled to be working in such a beautiful context.’  Charles Holland 

With world class artistic quality the Via Fracigena artworks will incorporate an opportunity for rest and contemplation, as well as highlight the natural landscape and inspiring views. With contemporary relevance, speaking to the modern world and local communities, they will provide a reason to visit, pause and appreciate each specific location while encouraging interaction from visitors.

The Via Francigena is an ancient Pilgrimage Route between Canterbury and Rome and is classified as a Cultural Route (similar to the Camino de Santiago) by the Council of Europe.