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Prospect Cottage, Dungeness

By CarolF
Prospect Cottage is a house on the coast in Dungeness, Kent. Originally a Victorian fisherman's hut, the house was purchased by director and artist Derek Jarman in 1986, and was his home until his death in 1994.

Jarman bought the house following the death of his father, at a time when he was looking to leave London.Actress and friend Tilda Swinton recalls Jarman buying "gallons of pitch black paint" to redecorate. The timber walls of the cottage are weatherproofed with tar, and one wall is decorated with lines from the John Donne poem "The Sun Rising". Jarman's 1990 film The Garden was filmed at the house.

Sculptures and planting in the garden
Jarman cultivated a garden in the shingle surrounding the cottage, a mixture of sculptures assembled from driftwood and other flotsam from the beaches of Dungeness, and hardy plants which could survive the coastal weather, supported by manure from a local farm dug into small holes in the shingle. Writing of his early months at Prospect Cottage, he said that initially "people thought I was building a garden for magical purposes - a white witch out to get the nuclear power station". Jarman described his garden as "a therapy and a pharmacopoeia", and would go on to write a book about it, Derek Jarman's Garden, illustrated with photographs by Howard Sooley and published posthumously in June 1995.

After Jarman's death in 1994, the cottage was bequeathed to his partner Keith Collins. The house was put up for sale in 2018 after Collins' death, its interior still containing artwork by Jarman's friends and admirers, including Maggi Hambling, John Maybury, Gus Van Sant and Richard Hamilton.

With the possibility of the house being sold privately, Art Fund launched a campaign in January 2020 to raise money for "a permanently funded programme to conserve and maintain the building, its contents and its garden for the future". The appeal was featured on an episode of BBC1's Countryfile in February 2020, with rare filming inside the cottage allowed for the programme.

Thank you for viewing, any comment / critique welcome.

Tags: Kent Dungeness Architecture Prospect cottage

Voters: mike9005, Jmag60, photowanderer and 18 more

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14 Aug 2020 11:49AM
Lovely capture and informative write-up, Carol.
Chinga Plus
9 3 2 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2020 12:55PM
Very appealing shot and a very good write up...
Isabel GrinGrin
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2268 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2020 6:06PM
I really appreciate the information you have given with this charming image of a place that I love dearly. We were delighted when the appeal reached its target.
I wonder if you have visited Jarman's grave t New Romney church?
CarolF 13 2 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2020 7:16PM
@mrswoolybill thank you for your comment, unfortunately i did not get to the grave this time but have added to the list for my next excursion into Kent.
Alfie_P Plus
13 687 2 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2020 11:03PM
Splendid image of this famous Ness cottage & garden ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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