East Yorkshire coastal erosion


Photographs taken by Brian Williams.

more on East Yorkshire coastal erosion
 Ringbrough site location
Ringbrough, or Ringborough, (Ringheborg in Domesday) is the name of a community lost to the sea. Certainly by the early nineteenth century all that remained was a farm.

During the Second World War, the farm was chosen for the construction of an artillery battery. All the military installations, including a brick-built observation tower, have succumbed to coastal erosion.

The land at Ringbrough is private property.

Ringbrough [05/05/12].

The last days of Ringbrough Farm. Built in the 1770s, and in 1833 standing 305 yards (279 metres) from the cliff, the farmhouse was required to be demolished before going over the edge [17/09/11].

Site of Ringbrough Farm [15/07/12].

Rubble from the farmhouse [15/07/12].

Wartime ‘pillbox’, topped with a thin mat of green, on the beach south of Ringbrough [05/05/12].

 Ringbrough-6  Ringbrough-7
At neighbouring East Newton, a pillbox descends the cliff [05/05/12 and 10/06/12] (enlargements).

But the main attraction at Ringbrough has to be the toppled observation tower, here approached along the beach from East Newton [05/05/12].

From the cliff top [15/07/12].

 Ringbrough-10 Lying on its side, part buried in the sand, the tower is denied a sense of former bearing. In the manipulated image below, the structure has been righted and background removed. The proportions remain the same [05/05/12].

arial photograph taken late 1990s
English Heritage
Reference NMR 12482/11

arial photograph taken January 2000
English Heritage
Reference MMR 17429/04

Ringbrough Farm and tower
Wikimedia Commons
Author: Stephen Horncastle, 29th October 2005

distance shot
Wikimedia Commons
Author: J Thomas, 14th August 2009

at the edge
Photos: Paul Glazzard, 11th May 2007

on the way down
UK Fossils Network
Forum posting by Tabfish

newly on the beach
Photos: Ian S, 4th October 2010

All along the watchtower. The concrete look-out platforms, seen here from ‘above’, would have been fitted with metal hand-rails [15/07/12].

Top end [15/07/12].

Inside the upper section. The floor is on the right [15/07/12]. A hatchway just visible at the far bottom right of the compartment as shown allows all-fours access to other sections.

As above, rotated.

A lesser structure [05/05/12].

Steps to nowhere [05/05/12].

Gun mount [22/09/14].

Remnants of Ringbrough [05/05/12].

Like the medieval community before it, Ringbrough Battery is fallen to destruction and inevitable disappearance. In the case of the military defences, solid angular structures become wave-rounded blocks, are then reduced to stones and pebbles (washed south by longshore drift), and eventually erode to grains [05/05/12].

Bollards mark the turn-off for the former road to Ringbrough from East Newton. Before being lost to the sea, the road turned right to Ringbrough beyond the present cliff line, which lies across the field [17/09/12].

Below is a sketch map depicting the layout of Ringbrough Farm and Battery during the Second World War. There is very little land trace of the unit’s existence.

 sketch map of Ringbrough

This slightly surreal sight of a bank of sandbags on the sand affords temporary cliff toe protection for the Aldbrough gas storage facility [05/05/12].

However, individual bags are plucked from the stack by the tide [05/05/12].

The sandbags are now removed as part of the project’s programme.

A more recent type of tower now locates Ringbrough. Erected a short distance out to sea, this one takes in water to leach caverns within salt-bearing strata some 2000 metres beneath the surface, ready for the storage of gas [05/05/12].

Cliffs north of Ringbrough contain sands and gravels deposited in outwash channels during glacial retreat. The small fall in the foreground happened moments before the picture was taken [15/07/12].

The land may make a defiant gesture to the sea but, in the battle of coastal erosion, the waves will always win [05/05/12].

more on East Yorkshire coastal erosion