A Trio of 19thC English Oak & Iron Beach Groyne Timbers from Pevensey Bay, UK

Origin: British
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-1900
Width: From 8 to 9 inches square
Heights: From 74 to 77 inches

The group of three oak beach groynes having cast iron riveted strap work, two with sea bed encrustations, all standing at over six feet tall, installed at Pevensey bay, on the south east coast of England in the nineteenth century.

The groynes have varying degrees of weathering and erosion to them, which is entirely part of their evocative charm, and two have masses of seabed encrustations to their pointed ends, the other having been cleaned. Each has its original iron riveted strapwork. They are free standing but could do with levelling off straight to their bases as they do lean to one side or the other.

Timber groynes have been used for well over a century to help protect our coastline and are they are now a familiar part of the landscape. In recent years there has been a move away from this method of defence. One hundred and fifty years ago there was no real alternative but to use timber groynes in an attempt to protect communities that had developed along the coast during the Industrial Revolution. In recent decades advances in machine technology has meant that there are now different techniques that can be used, and as we become more aware of man’s impact on our natural environmental, sustainability too is a major consideration.

With the future defences at Pevensey Bay being managed as a more open beach with fewer groynes, many are being removed whilst some groynes maintain important discontinuities in beach alignment and are being retained. As the remainder fail they are removed before they can become a danger to beach users or break free and become a hazard to shipping. The result will be a gradual transition to a more open beach - much as it would have looked in the first half of last century.

An assault on the senses, these are wonderfully sculptural pieces all with the tang in the air of the seaside.