South Coast Harbours 1698 logo, button to main menu
South Coast Harbours 1698
report by Edmund Dummer and Thomas Wiltshaw


Summary and Conclusion:
images: click to enlarge
button to legible summary button to legible summary
transcript
Observations
upon ye fore
recited Ports
& Rivers
These short Notes upon the Eighteen Places before Named wee humbly think may be taken for their Just Characters, and distinctions respectiveley, at least they seem so to us, and craving leave to add a Short review of the whole shall submit to better Judgement.
Of Rye Pemsey
Cookmere Newhaven
Shoreham &
Arundell
Generall reasons
of decay and
improbability of
repair
It may be observed that the Havens and Rivers of Rye, Pemsey, Cookmere, Newhaven, Shoreham & Arundell are now (whatever they have been) no proper Subjects for improvement for the Navy, For want of that benefitt all usefull Ports have Namely a sufficient indraught of the Sea suitable to the rise of Tydes upon the same Coast that there (on Springs are) Observ'd to be 19 & 20 ft. upright, For industry by enclosing Wast on the One hand, and Nature on the Other, By the plenty of Sullage the Sea Washes from the higher Shoares and carrys about in Motion to Lodge again in Places more confin'd and quiet, have by Degrees not only filled Vast spaces once doubtless possessed by the Sea wth: firme Ground But have likewise Choaked up almost ye very passages of the Land Fresh which Naturally tend to it soe that in these as in the decays of Naturall things in Generall the Conduits and Channells of their being are destroyed with themselves and Wee doubt without hopes of reviving
Difference of
the Harbours
about the Isle
of Wight from
those of Sussex
The Ports of and about Portsmouth under ye. Shelter of the Isle of Wight are Observ'd to abound in all ye Accomodations those others are found to want, and altho' these Harbours or recesses of Water doe fall short almost a third of the hight of the Tydes Nature and their Scituation affords the former, it Ordinarily flowing here but 14 ft. the highest which Abates their force and Weight in Proportion, nevertheless these Channells are open, deep, and profitable for all Commerce tho' at the same time also they have less of the Country Freshes to help them.

Of X Church
Pool Weymouth &
Exmouth their
Originall
imperfections
and incapacity
for Shipping
Christ Church, Pool, Weymouth, and Exmouth appear to have Other but more Originall imperfections than are found in those of Sussex, those may have been great indraughts in former times, But these seem never to have been Capable of it, The Soile of the adjacent Land lyes in another Nature, and the Tydes at highest seem to be not above 8 foot, and those Both as remiss and uncertain as the Winds on which their Motion mightily depends, so that their Agitation is in no wise Capable of that force and virtue which the Service of great Shipping call for, besides their Exits are Scituate in great Bayes which render approaches to them more difficult.
Of Dartmouth
Fowey Falmouth
& Helford
how & what
circumstances
they differ from
all ye rest and
our opinion of
them.
Dartmouth, Fowey, Falmouth & Helford are places of resort upon some occasions, And there are some particulars at Dartmouth improveable for the Services of the Navy, But in other Circumstances all these seem much more Subject to Hazards for the intercourse of Shipping than those Places do that are already in Use upon this Coast of England to which our Order Confines us, wherefore upon the whole wee see little good Grounds to recom~end or advise any Expences or disbursements at any of the Places wee have mentioned and Surveyed from Dover to the Lands-end, for their being made usefull for the Navy - and Remain
Dated ye 19th.
Novbr. 1698
Gentn.
   Yor. most humble Servts.
     Edmd. Dummer. Thos. Wiltshaw
     Jams. Conaway. Willm. Cruft.

South Coast Harbours 1698 logo, button to main menu
South Coast Harbours 1698
report by Edmund Dummer and Thomas Wiltshaw

© Jean and Martin Norgate: 2002
with information courtesy of Hampshire CC Museums Service
images © Jean Norgate: 2001
left button, to previous pages