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Anthony Gormley's Iron Man in Folkestone

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by Susan Hambidge (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Kent in the UK. Visit one of my pages at
Published January 6th 2020
See Anthony Gormley's art installation for free in Folkestone
Anthony Gormley is a living artist who is, perhaps, best known for creating the Angel Of The North statue in Newcastle. He has produced a series of Iron Men - life-size images of a naked male with few features. These men have been carefully placed up and down the country, positioned in some unexpected locations. The iron is slowly weathering and changing colour which is part of the art experience. For a while, there were two Anthony Gormley's Iron Men in Folkestone, but only one remains for the time being. It is not a permanent installation, so see it while you can.

Anthony Gormley Folkestone statue
Anthony Gormley's Iron Man in Folkestone

There is one remaining Anthony Gormley statue in Folkestone and it's not easy to find. You have to be a bit of a detective to locate it, but that adds to the experience. The Iron Man is underneath the harbour arm, more than halfway along the pedestrianised space. You don't need a boat to see it, but look out for the tiny plaque on the railing to give you a clue to where it is.

You can see the statue between the structure of the harbour arm if you look down. To see the statue closer, you need to go down the stone steps which lead directly into the water. Hold on tight to the handrail as the steps are continuously lapped by waves and can be dangerously slippery. The best view of the statue is when the tide is low, but as the water level rises, it is quite disturbing. There is something unsettling about seeing a life-size image of a man standing still in rising water.

Art in Folkestone
Art in Folkestone - Anthony Gormley Statue

There are a number of different art pieces around Folkestone. A leaflet provides visitors with a map to help spot them around the town. Some a permanent and others are on loan temporarily.

Anthony Gormley art in Kent
Anthony Gormley's Iron Man in Folkestone

There is another Iron Man standing in the sea in Margate, Kent. It is located behind the Turner Contemporary Gallery. It can only be seen when the tide is out, as it is fully submerged at high tide.
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Why? See art by the sea in Folkestone
When: Any time
Where: The Harbour Arm, Folkestone, Kent
Cost: Free
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