Fishing Boats at Hallsands
Up until the end of the 19th century, the fishermen of Hallsands landed their boats and dragged them up on to the long shingle beach out of reach of the sea.
From that time, despite the protestations of the villagers, the government authorised the dredging of shingle from Start Bay, under the management of Sir John Jackson, for the extension of the Devonport naval dockyard.
As predicted by the local people, the removal of shingle from the bay caused the beach level to drop as the shingle on the beach was drawn out to sea, filling the void left by the dredging. This enabled the high tides to come in closer to the village, eventually undermining the rock platform on which it stood. The boats could no longer be left landed on the beach and despite being large and heavy had to be dragged up onto slipways out of reach of the water.
From the beginning of the 20th Century, without the protection of the beach, damage to the buildings and the road through it began to occur, particularly during stormy weather, until eventually the village was almost completely destroyed by a violent South Easterly storm in January 1917.
The Hallsands images in this collection have been reconstructed in a jigsaw-like fashion using old and new images and with reference to the 1885 OS map.
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