There is a weather-beaten, lichen-stained monument by the beach at Walmer in Kent, which is easy to miss if you’re out for a seaside stroll.
The English countryside was once a refuge for writers and artists of slender means. The life was peaceful, the air was fresh, and the rents were cheap. But like exotic plants transplanted to alien soil, they brought their own peculiarities to their new habitat. And they could arouse suspicion and sometimes loathing in the natives.
Kentish field flecked with flint.
Farmer picked the flint from field,
Planting piles along the fringe.
It was not a morning to be outdoors, with high winds and dense rain lashing Kent as I drove south on my way to a birthday lunch. But the hamlet of Court-at-Street is only a short detour off the M20, and, as with crimes, so with visits to ruined chapels: I had means, motive, and opportunity, despite the weather.