North Downs Way Art Trail tags

Section: 12 - Canterbury to Shepherdswell

Start postcode
Kent Downs AONB
Nearest train station
Snowdown Station

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How to get there

  • Nearest postcode: CT4 6SJ
  • What 3 words: ///fault.wicked.cabbies
  • Where to start? Snowdown Station or Woolage Village Green
  • What to expect: Low hills, valleys and villages

Full route: This sculpture is on section 12 of the North Downs Way from Canterbury to Shepherdswell 10.5 miles (16.8km) for more details, visit the North Downs Way website.

In a hurry?

It’s just 1.1 miles from Snowdown Station.

Take your time…

Challenge yourself on the first steps on the road to Rome, part of the Via Francigena, load up your backpack and hit the trail. First off spend time exploring the three sites of historic Canterbury that make up its UNESCO World Heritage Site, then follow the North Downs Way towards Dover.

Make a day of it

  • Eat & drink: The Two Sawyers a traditional country pub set in the tiny hamlet in Woolage Green or The Jackdaw in the village of Denton which was used as a setting for the famous Battle of Britain film.
  • Explore: Canterbury, Patrixbourne, Shepherdswell, East Kent Railway
  • Travelling with Mini-Explorers?  Explore the sculpture and play on the nearby recreation area.

After the Black Gold sculpture

The story behind the sculpture

‘After the Black Gold’ takes its inspiration from the local mining heritage of Woolage village. Known as ‘White City’ to the mining community, Woolage Village was built in 1912 to accommodate miners and workers associated with nearby Snowdown Colliery. The piece is purposely simple, it takes the form of a timber structure supporting two lean-to roof pitches which together provide shelter for a bench.

The sculpture is oriented on the axis towards the old colliery to draw a connection to the site’s history and to benefit from the existing view of it from the recreation ground.

The structure invites walkers on the North Downs Way trail to sit, rest and consider the layers of human intervention in this landscape. On one side you can see the beautiful views looking out towards the colliery and on the other side the houses and play area of the village.

About the artists

Channel is an architecture practice founded by Ryan Cook and the late Sam Little. The practice is interested in the design and construction process, working with industry, institutions and individuals on projects that explore innovative responses to constraint and planetary resources. Sam Little, whose respectful interest in the mining community was intrinsic to this work, died suddenly soon after ‘After the Black Gold’ was launched, and the sculpture remains his only public work

The Via Francigena

The ancient Pilgrimage Route between Canterbury and Rome is classified as a Cultural Route by the Council of Europe.​

Nearby experiences

Other points of interest

  • Woolage former mining settlement

The Great Artdoors audio guides

Learn all about the After the Black Gold sculpture and the artist’s inspiration behind it, the importance of the landscape it sits within and how it was created and made.

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