January 14th, 2013
Listen up: sound mirrors and the fear of flying by Patrick Sykes at The Inkling, 14 January 2013.
Probably the only thing The Prodigy, Tacita Dean, and military defence enthusiasts have in common, sound mirrors, or ‘listening ears,’ were huge concrete concavities designed to detect enemy aircraft during the First World War…
December 13th, 2012
The Abbot’s Cliff sound mirror appears in the 1941 watercolour “Bombing the Channel Ports” by war artist Eric Ravilious (1903-1942).
Bombing the Channel Ports© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 1588)
Compare the painting with this May 2003 photo:
Thanks to Eddie Bromhead for letting me know about the painting.
December 10th, 2012
Boulby Barns Farm is for sale, along with its sound mirror. Offers in the region of £695 000.
Within the paddock is a Grade II listed Listening Post dating from around 1916 and used to detect approaching enemy Zeppelins and other aircraft. This structure is believed to be one of only 3 remaining in the country.
Source: Smiths Gore/Rightmove
Presumably this refers to the similar mirrors at Sunderland and Selsey.
Thanks to John McMillan for alerting me.
September 14th, 2012
Denge Sound Mirrors page at Historvirus.
July 26th, 2012
Following from an open day on 8 July 2012, there is a free non-booking guided walk out to the Denge sound mirrors on the afternoon of Sunday 12 August.
The RMCP events are the only way to visit the Denge mirrors. The walks are very popular, and well worth doing.
Full details from the Romney Marsh Countryside Partnership website. Anyone planning to attend should confirm details with the RMCP before travelling.
April 17th, 2012
At the weekend I went to see some new sound mirrors in a park at Kew in west London.
December 11th, 2011
Kent-based science fiction and fantasy gaming supplier Brigade Models is producing some 1/1200 models inspired by the Denge sound mirrors.
They are designed for Aeronef, a form of wargaming based on “an alternate history in the late 19th Century when the aircraft has been invented several decades earlier than the Wright Brothers actually managed. The nations and empires of the world battle for supremacy of the skies in giant aerial ships known as Aeronefs, lighter-than-air dirigibles (‘Digs’) and small fighter and bomber aircraft.”
Tony Francis of Brigade Models tells me that while the models are based on the Denge sound mirrors they are are not exact replicas; he worked from photos and satellite images to produce something that looked roughly right. “Although they are really First World War technology rather than late 19th century, we’ve appropriated them as being ideal for our Victorian science-fiction alternate history games”, he explains.
The 200 ft mirror comes out at about 50 mm long, while the two small ‘ears’ are about 10 mm. They are produced in pewter from masters which were created using a 3D modelling package and 3D printing.
For more details of availability and how to order, see the Brigade Models website.
October 18th, 2011
The Denge sound mirrors have proved to be a popular location for music videos and associated photo shoots, and are included in a new book called Rock Atlas, by David Roberts.
The author has got in touch to tell me that:
The 304-page, full-colour guide book includes 689 fascinating British and Irish music locations and the stories behind them. Written and researched by former Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums editor David Roberts, the book provides instructions on how to find each place of Rock and Pop pilgrimage, plus extensive lists of the birthplaces of every major musician.
The sound mirrors entry says:
The Dungeness coastal landscape is shaped by the strange architectural splendour of the sound mirrors that are featured as cover artwork on Turin Brakes’ Ether Song album and hit single ‘Long Distance’. Constructed as a Royal Air Force early warning system for incoming aircraft, the Denge mirrors are often referred to as ‘Listening Ears’ and have also featured in The Prodigy video for ‘Invaders Must Die’ and Blank & Jones‘ Monument album cover and video for ‘A Forest’.
LOCATION 147: between Lydd-on-Sea and Greatstone-on-Sea. Postcode: TN29 9NL. Access with guided walks. www.andrewgrantham.co.uk/soundmirrors