Coastal Erosion Is Nothing New

By Paul Homewood

John Gummer was trying to scare us about coastal erosion last week, but perhaps he ought to study a bit of history.

Countryside Magazine has a neat summary of some of the coastal villages, which have had to be abandoned over the centuries. Many are a direct result of erosion.






© Diana Jarvis/ Getty Images

The village of Dunwich still stands a few miles from Southwold, on the Suffolk coast, but it used to be a much larger town. In the 11th century, it had a large port, a naval base, two seats in parliament and one-sixth of the population of London.

Unfortunately, the coastline in which it stands is one of the fastest eroding in Europe. Couple this with a storm surge in 1286, and two ‘great storms’ the following year, and the decline was sealed.

Dunwich is now home to fewer than 200 people, with just a couple of amenities and a pub. Many of the original buildings were pulled over a cliff, and now rest up to ten metres below the waterline. Despite this, some are still identifiable.


The full list can be seen here.


October 31, 2018 at 07:37AM

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