Coccolith is a commission by Surrey Hills Arts in the “inspiring views” series. The dry stone view points and bench was built beside the North Downs Way on a hill on the Titsey estate in Surrey, near to the new Titsey brewery.
The piece was designed by artists Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys of Instar. The concept was to build a stone feature inspired by the creatures that created the chalk that forms the distinctive rolling hills of the North Downs.
Local iron stone from the Moorhouse sandpits – part of the Titsey estate – formed the outer part of the circular structure. White Lias limestone from Somerset was used for the interior. We had originally planned to use chalk or clunch as it is known in the building trade but this proved impossible to economically source. Five seats made from Chicksgrove limestone were cantillevered from the wall, and bore the words “Built upon time and tide”.
The dry stone bench has an opening facing SE over the Surrey/Kent border.
Coccolith measured approximated 10m long, 1.2m high and has a 1.5m radius. About 15 tonnes of stone was used in the construction and it took three weeks to build.
A more detailed article about Coccolith is on our articles page.