Lost Landscapes Recreated

Northward Over Hallsands   c. 1900

Hallsands is shown here looking Northward towards Beesands before the dredging of the shingle banks in Start Bay, which commenced just a short while earlier, began to cause the undermining of the beach. The shingle was required to build the docks at Devonport. The sea drew shingle out from the beach to replenish what had been taken, the beach level dropped and the rock plateau on which the village stood was left vulnerable to the ravages of the angry sea.

The destruction of the village began just a few years later, with damage, particularly to the seaward side, beginning to occur within that time. The cottage shown closest to the viewpoint at the bottom of the cliff on the seaward side was that of the Trouts, a fishing family. This was an early casualty of the villageís decline. It was the two elder daughters of this family, Patience and Ella, who as teenagers took over their fatherís fishing livelihood when he fell in and died at a young age, and later built the hotel, known as Troutís Hotel ( now apartments), with a large amount of the work done by themselves.

The people of Hallsands were well aware of the possible consequences of Sir John Jacksonís dredging right from the start, but those in official positions mostly ignored their concerns, with the exception mainly of the local MP, Frank Mildmay. Eventually the situation was recognised, and the dredging stopped, but it was too late. The surviving properties in the village were mostly damaged beyond repair by a violent storm in early 1917, and almost all the residents made homeless, though luckily with no loss of life.

The remains of the village and surrounding cliffs continue to be eroded by the sea.

The artist has created this image using the research done for the previous Hallsands pictures, referring to OS maps of the time to recreate it from this aspect


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