Apr 11, 2008

You'll never ride it (and neither will I).

These massive concrete structures are "acoustic mirrors", built in the first quarter of last century along Southeast UK coastlines. By gathering sound and focusing it at a microphone, the dishes gave the Brits an early warning of approaching enemy aircraft, simply by listening.

But faster and faster planes diminished the mirrors' usefulness, and the advent of radar in the 1930's rendered the technology officially obsolete.

There are a dozen or so mirror sites smattered along the coast, but the most impressive specimens, pictured above, stand today in a defunct quarry, surrounded by a moat, at an old military base. A drawbridge provides access for tourists.

Type "acoustic mirror" into Google Earth, and you'll find them.

Hilarious as I think it would be, trying to session these post-modern, post-apocalyptic monoliths with my little bicycle, that's really a minor component of my attraction to them. I just hope they remain standing for a while, and that I can go and have my picture taken with them.

Read more about them and see lots more pictures here, here, here, and here.

The world is incredible.


  1. http://www.streetphire.co.uk/svmanager/g3/images/DSC_0104.JPG

    here is a pic of one near me. your blog is rad! i like your volvo!

  2. Fantastic! I'm posting this on the main page--hope you don't mind!