Near Chartham Hatch, Kent – 7/10

The argument of stile versus gate is one that has been debated by academics for centuries, and one of the common modern approaches is the ‘kissing’ gate. Though not suitable for the established older field boundaries, and certainly not as creative or aesthetically pleasing, they can serve a function perfectly well.


Here we have two gates at the world-famous junction of the North Downs Way and Blean Walk, referred to by many as the spaghetti junction of walking routes. Indeed, these two routes have the historical significance and fame on a par with China’s Silk Road.

This is a perilously busy junction where clear signage and constant, smooth traffic flow is essential, and the two gates serve as to prevent the constant flow of multi-directional traffic descending into total bedlam.

Both of the gates are solid and effective structures, and in this case the gates are a more practical approach, as stiles may slow things down too much, causing anger and total anarchy amongst the various streams of traffic. However the procedure for closing the gates is not as smooth a process as it could be, as the gates fit awkwardly and the switches are quite tough.

These pictures were taken first thing in the morning, as it would not be possible to find a lull in the traffic at any other time.

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