The reason is that the street embodies ‘Ye Olde England’, a row of apparently tumbledown cottages with steep eaves and walls drapped in flowers. Each dwelling has its own personality, yet is part of a communal whole. Such townscapes convey a security, confort and good neighbourliness wholly absent from hard edged modern design. We can preserve these qualities from the past, yet seem unable to replicate them.
While such scenes are familiar in France and Italy, England offers few streets to equal Gold Hill’s Charm. The wall is massively buttressed and seems in perpetual danger of collapsing into the street.
From the top of the hill the line of cottages curves down a cobbled pavement. Though clearly medieval in origin, most have windows and roofs no earlier than the eighteenth century. Each is a composition in itself, a façade of stone or White wash and a roof thatch or tile. There is no clutter of modern vehicles or street furniture.
Seen from above, Gold Hill has a backdrop of countryside. Such backdrops, to many of my views, are critical to the composition. They are the Frames, The garlands, the adornments of the landscape