National Grid Ref TR 0713 4660
Excellent, recently rewhitened, enclosed in wire cages to prevent erosion, constructed of whitewashed (Snowchem cement whitening agent) flints 1-6" in diameter, with banked upper edges. Height 170ft (52m), width 180ft (55m), channels 12ft (3.5m), area 0.75 acre (0.3h).
The Crown is cut into the North Downs above Wye village, just below the North Downs Way. There is no easy parking except in the lane left off Coldharbour Rd, before the Crown. This point offers the best view, although the Crown can be seen well from point in the vicinity.
A Crown cut into the chalk hillside to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII by college students, on the Wye college estate on 12th June 1902. Restored between 1991 and 1995, recently re-whitened (April 1997) for Wye College's 550th Anniversary. Located on the college estate in the Crown Field, SSSI on the route of the North Downs Way so access is not restricted. Nearby is the site of Guy Fawkes’ day bonfire where on such occasions the Crown is illuminated on Guy Fawkes Night annually. A committee of management who were responsible for the Crown’s restoration are now concerned with its maintenance and funding arrangements. Donald Sykes former estates bursar at the college and project leader responsible for the Crown’s restoration and maintenance, and has an extensive bibliographical, and photographic record of the Crown. Mr. T.J. Young as lecturer in Agriculture & Surveying at the college was responsible for the construction of the Crown, which took 4 days and was carried out by 35 college students. Some 8000 barrow loads of turf, excavated soil and chalk were tipped into the quarry below the landmark. Restoration works, between 1991 and 1995, involved the placement in large cages of wiremesh of a 150 tonnes of flints which originated in the local chalk. The Crown was last scoured in a traditional way in 1982.
The Wye Crown Restoration Fund was established to raise funds for the preservation of the Wye Crown. The project was planned and is managed by a former estates bursar of Wye College and senior citizens of Wye. Valuable administrative, logistic, technical and back-up support being provided by Wye College.
The restoration was carried out over four summers and was unique in its effect of being a more permanent, environmentally sound yet aesthetically pleasing production. This was necessary to prevent the continued erosion of the Crown and erosion of the underlying chalk.
A separate fund, called the Wye Crown Maintenance Fund, was established in 1995 to provide resources for continued maintenance work.
The Crown Management Committee marked the Millennium with an Orientation Table to be located on the Downs above the Wye Crown. From this superb viewpoint a vast panoramic view stretches out over the Vale of Kent , the Wealden Forest and beyond Romney Marsh to the Channel.
It was constructed from Millstone grit and flints native to the Chalk, an Inscribed Stone it records the Millennium and Wye Crown, in the setting of the Historic Township and the Royal Manor of Wye. The table was finished on 27th June 2000.
Sketch Map of the Area
The Plan used for the Recent Restoration
Reproduced with kind permission of Dae Sasitorn and Adrian Warren - www.lastrefuge.co.uk
The Crown from a nearby track.
Many Thanks to Jean-Marie, Pierre-Henry and Christophe Mathy for the photo.
RCHME Historic Monument Ref TR06NE66
The RCHME also hold Aerial Photographs of the Crown
Sortie No. Library No. Date.
106G/UK/1377 288 1946.
106G/UK/1377 7009 1946.
58/687 1175 1951.
OS/73228 10475 1973.
Glasscock H.H, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1965) Wye Crown, VI, 2, 29-33.
Young T.J, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1933) The Digging of the Crown, VII, 43, 360-362.
Young T.J, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1902) The Crown and the College, I, 3, 4-5.
Reich L.M, Kent Seen, (1993) Wye's Crown Jewel, May, 11.
Sykes J.D, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1989/90) The Crown Revisited, XIV, 2, 43-46.
Sykes J.D, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1990/91) The Crown Revisited Part II, XIV, 3, 52-55.
Sykes J.D, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1991/92) The Restoration of the Wye Crown. XV, 1, 47-48.
Sykes J.D, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1992/93) Wye Crown Restoration Project-A Noble Project, XV, 2, 61-62.
Sykes J.D, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1993/94) Wye Crown Restoration Project-Progress and Prospect, XV, 3, 56-59.
Sykes J.D, Journal of the Agricola Club, (1994/95) The Crown Restored, XVI, 1, 58-60.
Skilbeck, D. Journal of the Agricola Club, (1957) The Crown on Wye Downs, III,3 64-65.
Bannister, N. Wye Historic Landscape. (Unpublished Survey) copy held in Wye College Library.
Maples, M. (1981) White Horses and Other Hill Figures. 2nd edn. Stroud: Alan Sutton. 214.
Newman, P. (1987) Gods and Graven Images: The Chalk Hill-Figures of Britain. 2nd edn. London: Robert Hale. 198-200.
Bergamar, K. (1986) Discovering Hill Figures. 3rd edn. Princes Risborough: Shire. 19-20.
Bergamar, K. (1968) Discovering Hill Figures. 1st edn. Princes Risborough: Shire. 19, 23 - 24.
Snelson,K.E. (1995) Wye Crown Restoration Works 1991-94. (Held in the Wye College Library)
Bergamar, K. (1997) Discovering Hill Figures. 4th edn. Princes Risborough: Shire. 35-39.
Newman, P. (1997) Lost Gods of Albion. 2nd edn. Stroud: Alan Sutton. 200.
Additional Information held by Donald Sykes
Video 'Restoration of the Wye Crown - A Noble Project' by G.Riesebos and L. Bowes (1997).
Wye College Land and Building Surveyor (1977) Wye Crown Plan.
Selection of slides and photographs
Many Thanks To Donald Sykes for allowing the use of literature for the preparation of this page.
Prepared with the aid and approval of the Wye Crown Restoration and Maintenance Projects.