News | Events & Exhibitions | Manifesto | About the Museum
Become a Friend | Souvenirs | Contact | The Museum Recommends...

WAKING THE GIANT 29th February 2020

On a rainy, bitterly cold day earlier this year, nearly 2000 people made their way up to the highest point in Dover, within sight of Dover Castle but secreted on the Downs. Fort Burgoyne has long been a place known locally but mainly only through hearsay or distant memories of teenage trespass when the fort was abandoned.

Since 2014, the site has been under the guardianship of the Land Trust, who have been in the process of renovating the building with a dedicated team of volunteers. In 2019, The Land Trust and Pioneering Places East Kent appointed Albion Incorporated to undertake a Year of Engagement: imagining the possible future use of the site through speaking with local people, artists and education providers to sketch out what a community-led space might look like.

The Museum of British Folklore’s Simon Costin recently purchased a property in Dover and Fort Burgoyne was brought to his attention by Peter Cocks, who invited the MoBF team to visit the site in 2019.

This meeting marked the beginning of a collaboration with Albion Incorporated culminating in ‘Waking The Giant’ – an open day curated by Simon Costin and Mellany Robinson of MoBF.
The concept was based upon the mythical ‘sleeping giant of Dover’ and its link to the European Giant Festivals originating in the 14th century, along with broader ‘sleeping giant’ myths (with a dash of Alan Garner). Using sources ranging from Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion of 1612, to the WWII ‘ghillie’ suit designs of Roland Penrose, the whole team collaborated to reimagine the site’s history and future. An accompanying guide to the day was also produced by MoBF, designed by Dust with photographs by Matthew Rowe.
The day combined art, craft and folklore and featured films by the artist in residence, Matthew Rowe; performance art from Robert George Sanders; live pottery firing by Future Foundry and Ceramic Art Dover; pottery with Keith Brymer Jones; blacksmithing; willow basket making and a dedicated Waking the Giant project by the MA students from Central St. Martin’s ‘Narrative Environments’ course. We also got to showcase MoBF’s giant Punch and Judy…
The event was a huge success with positive feedback from the visitors and event team and we hope to collaborate together on future happenings.









Other Events