My Sat Nav took me on a merry dance this morning, taking me over several rather daunting self-service level crossings and down a very long and unlikely single-track concrete road but, eventually, with the additional aid of an out-of-date OS map, I arrived at the most extraordinary site of the ‘Saxon Shore’ Roman fort remains at Burgh Castle.
The consistency and scale of the monumental flint & tile construction was unexpected and it certainly took a bit of time to develop a feel for the place and how to respond to it. I walked around the inner and outer areas of the enormous rectangular structure, struggling to find an obvious composition.
One side of this fortress (to the west) has been lost and now opens on to the Broads, looking out onto windmills and abundant beautiful countryside. But wishing to honour the great length of the wall and give a sense of its proportion, I chose to emphasise the grasses and yarrow in front and at close quarter, so that these took on the appearance of trees in a landscape. The wall itself was reduced almost to a datum line – a point of reference to measure the other elements and vice versa.