Gilden Gate

Clay Pipe Music


April 2023 

Gilden Gate is a coloured vinyl LP with reverse board printed sleeve and inner sleeve designed by Frances Castle of Clay Pipe Music. It's also available as a download from The Clay Pipe online shop alonside all Clay Pipe's other releases.

Gilden Gate is an album of two halves. Side 1 ‘Rising’ celebrates the sun-drenched beaches, pastures and heaths of rural Suffolk, whereas Side 2 ‘Falling’ explores the underwater world of the lost city of Dunwich and its five church spires.

Oliver says:-

A few years ago I discovered the lost city of Dunwich. I’d made a trip to Suffolk to shoot a short film about Sizewell Nuclear Power Stations and stayed in the old Coastguard’s Cottage on Dunwich Beach within sight of Minsmere Nature Reserve and the power plants. It’s a wild, sleepy place of pines and heath and North Sea winds and a strangely mysterious air – Sutton Hoo is nearby and Eno’s reference to the very beach that I was staying on made perfect sense. In the small museum at Dunwich I learned that this tiny hamlet had once been a major medieval city of international trade. It seemed unlikely and even now, knowing Dunwich as a small village, I find putting what I know about the place into perspective as a city a certain kind of impossible.

It seems that over a period under the influence of the weather, natural erosion and market rivalry the thriving harbour port was inundated by the North Sea and eventually slipped into and under it. The city of churches was lost and all the spires engulfed and toppled. What remains are the few houses, and the ruin of Greyfriars crumbling inexorably down the cliff and exposing the bones of buried monks as the graveyard follows the building’s stones into the sea.

There are local legends surrounding the site including stories of fishermen hearing the bells of lost churches and seeing the ghostly, lighted city beneath their boats as they return to the shore.

Gilden Gate is named for one of the entrances to the old city and is a musical meditation on Dunwich past and present. Frances Castle’s beautiful sleeve art depicts the surface and the sub-marine, the warm and the cold, the past and the present. The glass rises and the glass falls and in the background there are sirens, fog horns, church bells and Eno, and on the sea bed there are the scattered remains of a once great city.”

Track list

  1. Sea Breeze
  2. Hercules
  3. Heat Haze
  4. Bicycle Ballet
  5. The Downs
  6. Ramblers' Dance
  7. Greyfriars
  8. Blackfriars
  9. St Nicholas
  10. St Katherine
  11. St Leonard