From Corn to Cordite.

© Copyright John Williams 2010
Chapter Thirty Nine :
Tides and Sea walls.
Contents:
The Suggestion is That Tidal heights were greater in past times.
The evidene suggests that a hange in tidal heights has happened.
The arguments: !rom authorities and e"perts on greater tidal heights in the past
are as #ollows.
The $uth %rewery: %ier&rouweri'en (ran'e&oom )erenigde.
* tide ta&le #rom 1+,0.
-e#erenes.
The Sea walls at .itsea
The /arly Sea walls proteting .itsea 0all /state and the Sluie.
152
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
Chapter Thirty Nine :
Tides and Sea walls.
1t would &e interesting to disover what would the height o# the tides &een in
past times is there any evidene o# hange.
The Suggestion is That Tidal heights were greater in past times:

Should the reader want a short onise e"planation o# sea levels then this
is the re#erene #or you: 2ordon. $.3 4ean Sea 3evel around the %ritish 1sles.
5*6
$alton and 3aver 5%6 suggested that an e"amination o# tidal height in
Colhester showed that 2ranaries whih were not 700 years old were regularly
#looded in 1800. The #oundation level o# the -oman settlement in the area was at
the &ottom edge o# low water spring tides. * 9ui: alulation shows that all
things &eing e9ual then this would &e e9uivalent to 1+ #eet &elow the 2ranaries.
The evidene suggests that a hange in tidal heights has happened:
This evidene &y $alton and 3aver suggests that sea level rises were
happening in the 1+
th
entury. 5%6 Jensen states that Sea levels in -oman times
were 1; #eet lower that today. 5C6.
Why would the sea level &e rising sine -oman times< We have to
onsider phenomena :nown as =/ustay> and =1sostay>. /ustay is the inreased
amount o# water held in the oeans &asins? i# it inreases then #looding is
possi&le in plaes. 1sostay is di##erent? this is when the rust or the land &ends?
tilts or de#orms. The e##et o# this &ending or tilting is seen in the Thames valley.
The theory goes li:e this? during the last ie age huge masses o# ie rested on the
northern parts o# /ngland and Sotland this depressed the level o# the land and
tilted the oast in the south upwards. When the ie melted the weight was
removed and the land mass started to reover and rise so Sotland rose &ut the
Thames valley san:. /videne e"ists to show that the Sottish &eahes have risen
2; #eet and lowering has ourred in the Thames area.586
The arguments: !rom authorities and e"perts on greater tidal heights in the past
are as #ollows:
Tas:er omments that a great deal o# em&an:ing was done &y the
-omans who were master &uilders? this is easily evidened at %ar:ing and
$agenham. /lsewhere it was the $uth who were involved in em&an:ing the
Thames. 5$6
!air&ridge loo:s at hanges during the -oman period? the lower plot on
the sea level graph 5shown on .age @116 shows that in %CA*$ the level drops
until *$ 1;0 then rises until *$ ;00 the drops again. 5/6? 5!6? 526? 506? 516? 5J6.
1t would not &e unreasona&le to e"amine the #ortunes o# a loal port that
had &een ative sine the1;th and 1B
th
Century. The Town o# 3eigh would suit
admira&ly.
153
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
3eigh was desri&ed in 1;B; as: ‘A very proper towne, well furnished of
(Rubbed) mariners, where ships do ride, all maner cranes and other thinges.
Fourteen ships, 6!"# tons $ mariners% 516 and in 1B07 it is reorded that 8
vessels o# 200C@00 Tons were &ased in 3eigh.526. The 3eigh &ased 7;0 ton ship
the =2lo&e> was plying her trade to the /ast 1ndies while the vessel =3ittle John>
was visiting South *#ria.
1n 1;,+? 3eigh sent eight ships and two .innaes 5small support vessels6 to
support $ra:es !leet against the Spanish. Then in 1;,8 3eigh sent ships to
.ortugal to support $ra:e as =0ired 4erhantmen> #or whih they reeived
2 shillings per ton per month. 576.
1n 1B18 3eigh had 21 vessels. 0arwih and Colhester having 7B and 20
respetively. )ange? %en#leet and !o&&ing having only one. 5@6.
1n 1B2, it is reorded that the County only had 708 sailors and 7;+
!ishermen? with 7@ ships at 100 tons and 1B ships at 8; tons.
We must ompare this with #igures #or 1;+2 when 3eigh alone had 71
vessels with 270 mariners and #ishermen. 5;6.
*n interesting #at is that there was a small port alled 4ilton o# 4ilton
0amlet? it was reorded that in the early 1B00>s it had si" vessels &etween 120
and 700 tons and served the /ast 1ndies. 1t no longer e"ists? Nihols reords that
4orant in 1+B, states that the remains o# a hapel an &e seen at the low water
mar:. The loation seems to &e somewhere on the Southend Sea#ront. 5226.
Something was happening? .orts li:e 3eigh would &e very susepti&le to
what is alled &y SeaC#arers =Constrained &y $raught>? this simply means that
there needs to &e enough water to allow the ship to enter the do: or ome
alongside to &e unloaded? larger ships would go elsewhere. 1t is not impossi&le
and worth onsidering? that the 4ediaeval su&mergene had some in#luene on
this onstraint.
1t is important to point out that #rom 1+;0C1,@0 huge amounts o# orn
went to $uth &reweries the repeal o# orn laws in the early 1,00>s aused it go
the other way when the importation o# orn inreased? possi&ly on #oreign ships.
5B6? 5+6? 586? 5106.
%ier&rouweri'en (ran'e&oom )erenigde.
* )ery old $uth &rewery esta&lished in 1B+1? now losed. To 9uote #rom
the $uth Tourist %oard. 0ollandDs hop gardens #irst appeared in the 1@th
entury and &reweries &lossomed during the 4iddle *ges? although the
housewives did not stop &rewing their own &eer. /very $uth ity had a
&rewery? and 0aarlem? $el#t? 2ouda? and *mers#oort produed enough &eer #or
e"port to !landers. *msterdam &eame the ma'or &rewing enter in the 1;th
entury. %y the 1+th entury there were +00 &reweries in 0olland and an
inrease in demand #or &eer as it was used #or &oth drin:ing and oo:ing
154
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
2raph o# Tidal variation over time. 5,6
/videne and arguments to e"plain how silting has ourred altering the usage o#
any tidal draught:
1t an &e argued that the slight lowering o# the availa&le draught and the
ontinuing pro&lems aused &y 3ondon %ridge impeding o# the Thames #low and
was ausing siltation. Today? 3eigh is somewhat silted up and would have
di##iulty in handling the num&er and siEe o# vessels as #ormerly even i# the
inreased tidal height is allowed #or.
1t is lear that an e"amination o# the Thames tidal region is that
enormous 9uantities o# silt streth #or miles. What aounts #or this apparent
hange<
$uring the proposals and planning #or the &uilding o# the Thames &arrier
muh thought and wor: went into o&taining a learer view o# the nature and
dynamis o# the #low o# the -iver Thames.
!irstly it would &e use#ul to :now what the &ed o# the Thames is
omposed o#. 1s it made up o# mud or sand &eds< The -oyal Soiety produed a
huge and omprehensive report. 5116 !rom !igure 1 5.age @126 it an &e learly
seen that the &ed is omposed o# mostly sand with some silt where the river
&eomes wider. 5126.
155
To Fuote #rom the pu&liity o# the -oyal Soiety: =&n 'ovember (th )66 a
do*en men gathered to hear the young +hristopher ,ren give a lecture on
astronomy. -n the discussion that followed they decided to form a society for the
study of the new and still controversial ./perimental 0hilosophy. 1wo years
later +harles -- made it his Royal 2ociety and in the (3 years since it was
founded, its Fellows have given us gravity, evolution, the electron, the double
heli/, the internet and a large part of the modern world. -n ") we celebrate
(3 years of scientific brilliance and fearless doubt.%
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
*nd ma:es the point with evidene that the em&an:ing had had a part to play in
inreasing the urrent tidal range. See the &o".

%owen goes on to give evidene o# reent inrease in tidal range? in 1+88
the range at 3ondon %ridge was 1; #eet it inreased to 18 #eet + inhes in 'ust +;
years 51,+@6. 5176
2ray and !oster are lear that some the e##ets have &een anthropologial
rather than natural.
156
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
Extract from report (14).
1t is not entirely lear a&out all the mehanisms that aused the huge level
o# siltation &ut it an &e evidened that it has &een ontinuing sine the 1+
th
entury when em&an:ing too: plae? it is lear that huge amounts o# silt have
&uilt up on the tidal side o# the sea walls. !rom the loal position o# .itsea? )ange
and 3eigh it was the massive em&an:ing wor:s that altered the tidal regime in
.itsea Cree: and in the waters around 3eigh. !or in#ormation on sea wall there
are some re#erenes given. 51;6? 51B6? 51,6.
Copy o# one o# the earliest tide ta&le? it shows the times o# high water 1B,7 . 5216
157
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
* tide ta&le #rom 1+,0.
-e#erenes:
5*6 2ordon. $.3 4ean Sea 3evel around the %ritish 1sles. 18;+. ..2,C77
5%6 /sse" Naturalist? G)1 $alton and 3aver. ..8BC101. 1808.
5*6 This was 9uoting Wheeler -./.4. 182,? -oyal Commission on *nient
4onuments 5/ngland6 )ol 7. .17. 3ondon in Tidal 1nundations .ast and
.resent. 0.*.. Jensen? .art 1. ..,;C,8.
5$6 /sse" review G)1. Tas:er. 2./. The Sea walls o# /sse". ..1@B.
5/6 Nature. )ol 2+0? 18++? ..+12C+1;. $evoy.-.J.N. !landrian sea level hanges
in the Thames estuary and the impliation #or land su&sidene in /ngland and
Wales.
5!6 .roeedings o# the 2eologial *ssoiation. )ol 81 .18,0. .p. 1B8C1+;.
2reensmith and Tu:er. /videne #or di##erentiated su&sidene on the /sse"
Coast.
526 Fuartenary -esearh. )ol 2 18+2? 1C1@. Walott. -.3. .ast sea levels?
eustay and de#ormation o# the earth.
506 *nti9uity GGG) 18B1. 2reen. C. /ast *nglian oast line levels sine -oman
times. .resent vertial movement o# the %ritish isles. 0? )alentin.
516 3imnol (eanographi 18B,. No7 ..+2C,7 and
2eographial Journal 18;7. No 118. ..288C70;.
5J6 Su&sidene o# eastern /ngland and ad'aent areas. $alton? 3aver?
0aEeldeneCWarren. /sse" Naturalist. )ol 27 ..8BC101 1808.
158
From Corn to Cordite. © Copyright John Williams 2010
516 /*T. New Series G)11. $i:en. /... Notes on the oast? shipping and seaC
&orne trade o# /sse" 1;B;C1;++.
526 Transations o# the -oyal 0istorial Soiety. G1G ..708C7@7. /nglish ships in
the reign o# James 1. 4arsden -.2. 1B07C1B2;
)itoria County 0istory #or /sse". ..2B@
576 )itoria County 0istory #or /sse". ..2+,
5@6 )itoria County 0istory #or /sse". ..2,0
5;6 )itoria County 0istory #or /sse". ..2,1
5B6The /sse" -eview 2lenny ..,2C,8.
5+6 The .roeedings o# the 1nstitution o# Civil /ngineers. 1,++? )ol @8 ..B+C1;8.
5,6 Fuarternea. )ol B? 18B2 ..1B1C17B. -.W. !air&ridge. World sea level and
limati hanges.
586 *&strats o# the .roeedings o# the 2eologial Soiety o# 3ondon. No 12B0?
4arh 7
rd
1877? 3ong#ield. T./.
5106 .orts o# the /astern Counties. W.J.Wren. 18+B $alton ltd.
5116 .hilosophial Transations o# the -oyal Soiety o# 3ondon. * mathematial
and physial Siene. )ol 2+2. ..+8C2+@. No 1221. 18+2. .T-3.
5126 .T-3 Hendri:.m.p. Siltation pro&lems in relation to the Thames &arrier.
5176 .T-3 $unham and 2ray. setion ..1,+. %owen. *.J. The tidal regime o#
the -iver ThamesI long term trends and their possi&le auses.
51@6 .T-3 2ray and !oster Jr&an in#luenes upon groundwater onditions in
Thames #lood plain deposits o# entral? 3ondon.
51;6 /sse" Naturalist 18;@. ..1;;C1+;. J./. 4yers. * survey and Comparison o#
the natural and inned salt marshes at 3eigh on Sea. /sse". $esri&es the sea
walls a&out +#eet tall made o# lay with no stonewor: and the top is 1.; yards
aross.
51B6 2reive 0. The 2reat Tide.? /sse" and the Sea. .p1CB;.
51+6 0 2reive 0. The 2reat Tide.? /sse" and the Sea. .p1CB;
51,6 /sse" review G? G1? G11. 2lenny. W.W The $y:es o# the Thames. ..1@8?
21,? 1,+?,2.States that the time #or sea walling was during the winter months
and spring? The nature o# the materials used re9uired onsidera&le moisture to
permit manipulation.
518 6/sse" Naturalist? )ol 10? ..2++C2,7. The 0igh tide o# Novem&er 28
th
1,8+.
5206 The -estoration o# the Tidal Thames. 3.%. Wood 0ilger.
5216 !lamstead. Tide ta&les #or 1B,7 at 3ondon %ridge. .hilosophial
Transations ? 1B,7? No G111. ..10C1;. 4entions the #irst tide ta&le #or 3ondon
1BB,. .u&lished in 4r (lden&urghs .hilosophial Transations.. *pril 1BB,?
Num&er 7@.
5226.. 4orant? The 0istory and *nti9uities o# /sse" 52 vols. 1+B,6
5276 Southend on sea $istrit *nti9uarian 0istory Soiety. )ol 1? .art 111? J.!.
Nihols. New light on the history o# 4ilton hamlet. ..1+2C1,1.
159

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