Charles Holland Architects

Monumenta Romana is a new public artwork sited on the Via Francigena pilgrimage trail as it follows the North Downs Way between Canterbury and Dover. It is sited on the edge of the Waldershare Estate and opposite the Belvedere, an early 17th century Palladian folly designed by Lord Burlington. Commissioned by the owner of the estate, the Belvedere was never completed and the Grade 1 structure is currently in a semi-ruinous state.

 

Monumenta Romana is fabricated from salvaged timber forming an open-framed dome surrounded by an octagonal timber seat. It is both an object of contemplation relation to the site and its history and a place to sit offering 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape to walkers on the trail.

Monumenta Romana re-imagines the cupola that was originally intended to go on the roof of the Belvedere. In this sense, the artwork refers to a history of objects and architectural fragments brought back from foreign travels including the Grand Tour. It also refers to a history of wayside chapels and shrines that populate pilgrimage routes.

Monumenta Romana