Work could be needed to stop Rye landslide

Gun garden crack
Gun garden crack

WORK could be needed to prevent a landslide at one of Rye’s most famous ancient monuments.

There were major concerns when cracks appeared in a wall at the Gun Gardens last year.

Now engineers have carried out a study of the site and are due to report back their findings to Rother District Council.

Survey work was carried out on the slope leading up to Gun Garden on the A259 earlier this month.

A Rother Council spokesperson said: “Some cracks in the soil started to appear last summer leading to the need for some exploratory work to understand the causes of the cracks and potential consequences.

“The survey work carried out will give us a clear indication of how stable the bank is and what work, if any, needs to be done.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the investigation work.

The bank below the Gun Gardens and Church Square is notoriously unstable and previous land-slips caused a row of cottages on Fishmarket Road to become uninhabitable.

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

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

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

Now it is a popular viewing point and picnic area used by both local people and visitors.