concerns as cracks appear in Rye’s Gun Garden landmark

26/6/12- The Gun Garden, Rye.
26/6/12- The Gun Garden, Rye.

THERE are fears that Rye could be at risk from a landslide after stress cracks appeared at the historic Gun Garden site.

A large crack has appeared in a wall at the Gun Garden and there are other signs of possible subsidence.

Rother District Council is so concerned about the situation that it is in the process of commissioning a special report as to the extent of the problem and what it will cost to rectify it.

Rye Town Council declined a request from Rother to contribute toward the £45,458 cost of the survey.

The Gun Garden is on a steep slope above the busy A259 road.

Years ago, a landslip close to the Gun Garden resulted in the row of cottages at Fishmarket Road becoming uninhabitable due to the risk.

The houses remain unsold due the high cost of building a new retaining wall to stabilise the bank.

Rye councillors say the cost of actually stabilising the bank could be “substantial”.

The Gun Garden is one of Rye’s most iconic and treasured historical features and was created at the time of Queen Elizabeth 1 as a key defence against the threat of the Spanish Armada.

To show her gratitude Good Queen Bess donated a set of brass cannons to the town.

In its time it has been a public bowling green and a soup kitchen for the poor.

It was even rented by residents as land to feed their rabbits on.

The Gun Garden was used to drill a Corps of Volunteers during the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1980 replica cannons were re-instated there to mark a visit to Rye by the Queen Mother.

Now it is a popular viewing point.