Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wooden groynes

It is interesting to ponder that a few simple structures like this began in the 1720's to stabilise Brighton's seafront along basically the same line we have today. A great storm in 1703 had destroyed the old fishing village below the cliffs and, along the south coast, was said to have cost 8000 lives. There was a further bad storm in 1705 and the sea continued to encroach to such an extent that Brighton appeared on the verge of being devoured by the sea. It must have been a fairly wretched place but, for some reason, maybe good fishing, was thought worth saving, and money was raised to build two groynes adjacent the old town. These were spasmodically maintained and supplemented for the next 200 years until gradually, from 1867 onwards, they became supplanted by concrete structures.

There were several wooden groynes still to be seen on Hove beaches until well into the 20th Century. Their remains may be there yet, buried under the shingle. This photo is of one of two still visible near where the Hove-Portslade border enters the sea.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect it's the very one I used to dive off in the early 1960's.


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