Tag Archives: groynes
See also A walk on the dunes ( https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/a-walk-on-the-dunes/)
The East Sussex coastline is divided by the estuary of the river Rother, on which stands the town of Rye. To the east, stretches the sandy expanse of Camber. To the west, the beaches comprise shingle, punctuated by weathered and disintegrating groynes. At low tide, areas of sand and mud flats are exposed beyond the shingle. Winchelsea beach is a particularly attractive example.
This is 1066 country. It was at Bulverhithe, just twenty or so miles further along the coast, that William the Conqueror landed on 29th September, 1066.
There is something strangely attractive about the decaying posts of groynes, finally defeated by the ravages of the sea. For me, their shapes, colours and textures are irresistible. Their gnarled turrets and towers often suggest a land of myths and legends – especially so when they are nestled in dark grey/brown seaweed.
Click to enlarge.
This picture contains far more information than is immediately apparent. In the sea are remnants of groynes,used as a defence against a constant threat from the force of the sea. The shore leading to the distant tower has been reinforced, also as a defence against erosion. But the sea has not been the only enemy. The tower is a Martello Tower, one of 103 built in 1803 and placed strategically along the coasts of Suffolk and Sussex as protection against possible attacks from Napoleon. During World War II this bay had an ‘Admiralty Scaffold’, a defence structure against enemy invasion, and this photo is taken within 10 yards of a gun battery and lookout tower – further reminders of World War II. Radar was first developed less than 2 miles from this point. About 8 miles away, at Sutton Hoo, is an important Saxon burial site, thought to be the resting place of the first East Anglian king, Raedwald, who died in AD624 – a reminder that invasions are not a latter day phenomenon.