Meet the Landgate Friends

A flag flies once more from the Landgate

The Friends of the Landgate invite you to an open meeting with Graham Burgess, Economic Development Manager at Rother District Council (RDC) to hear about Rother’s future plans for the Landgate.

The meeting will take place at 5:30pm on Thursday, November 22 at St Mary’s Centre, Lion Street. You can let us know you are coming by emailing

Buddleia gone at last!

This is the second meeting we have hosted this year – and what a year it has been for the Landgate. When we first set up the Friends of the Landgate initiative the building was in a sorry state, with RDC’s focus elsewhere. There was a mass of buddleia growing from the parapet, one of the flagpoles was in a dangerous condition of decay and at times dead pigeons hung from the damaged netting that acted as a “roof”.

Our first task as Friends of the Landgate was to understand Rother’s plans and see how we might assist. In the last year there has been huge progress: the survey of the structure, which had been kept out of sight for nearly two years, was published and distributed. Rother then set up a forum of stakeholders to discuss and agree a plan, which included representatives from RDC, Rye Town Council, Rye Museum and Rye Conservation Society, as well as ourselves. Money was released by RDC, with support from Rye Town Council, to do all the urgent works, with the work being finished in time for Remembrance Sunday and a flag flew from the tower for the first time in many, many years.

Birds eye view can’t get in!

As Friends of the Landgate, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the building and get interested parties together to agree a way forward. We have achieved much that we set out to do and it begs the question “what next?” With Rother’s renewed interest, and hopefully a successful bid from the Coastal Fund to undertake more work on the structure, we are asking ourselves “are the Friends of the Landgate still needed?”

Gillian Roder has decided, in any case, that it is time she stepped down. The next stage has to be agreement on the future of the Landgate. Is it to be a managed ruin? We understand the attraction of this idea  Imaginative reuse? That’s what we would hope, or at the very least a feasibility study into the possibilities.

None of us have the expertise in architecture, surveying or historical development to go any further with this. We wanted to get people thinking and doing. We believe we have done this. If you want the Friends to continue, then new people with a more relevant and focussed skills set are needed.

We would like to thank you all for your interest and support, either in agreement or disagreement with us! I really think we wouldn’t have got this far without being able to show the public’s interest and enthusiasm for the Landgate.

We will be tackling this question on Thursday, November 22 and would like to hear your thoughts – either at the meeting or email them to us at



Image Credits: Trevor Lavender , Gillian Roder .


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