At the eastern end of the Isle of Sheppey in Kent are the remains of another sound mirror. It was once on top of the cliffs, but erosion of the soft clay has left it in pieces on the beach.
The design is similar to the mirrors at Selsey and in the northeast, suggesting a First World War date for its construction.
The mirror seems to have been built from concrere “layers”, which have separated on the beach. The surface of the dish has the remains of a coating roughly two inches (50 mm) thick, perhaps to give a smoother surface?
Paul Prior has supplied this old photograph, possibly taken circa 1969-70, showing the sound mirror before the cliffs were eroded so far that the it fell onto the beach below. The mirror is on the extreme left of the picture.
Among the lumps of concrete (and bricks, old bikes, a lawn mower and other assorted flotsam and jetsam) surrounding the mirror is a slab which helpfully says “Cracked” on it. It’s anyone’s guess why.
8 October 2005.
The ruins of the mirror are on the beach just south of Warden Point, near Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey. It is easy to find, a short walk from the road at Warden.
From the car park on the optimistically-named Imperial Drive there is a ramp down to the beach. Go down, then simply walk north along the foreshore for a short distance past a few groins. You can’t really miss the mirror (seeing as it is a heap of large concrete blocks!). An approximate grid reference is TR021721. It might be worth checking the tide times, as the water comes up around it.
There are buses between Shearness and Leysdown which turn off the main road to call in at Warden, though when I went the timetables didn’t mention this so I needlessly walked from the main road. This being Britain, there was no timetable for the hourly service at the bus stop.
- Sound Mirror & Fortifications at Warden’s Bay, Sheppey by Carol Hunt
- SouthEast Defence Photos has a photo of the sound mirror at the base of the cliff in 1978.