History of Alderney and Jersey "harbours of refuge" – why did they fail?

History of Alderney and Jersey "harbours of refuge" – why did they fail?
Allsop, W.
In: ICE Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters 2017, 5-7 September 2017, Liverpool, UK. (2017)

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Abstract:During the early 1800s, Britain still feared the 'Napoleonic threat' from the French Navy and their allies. That fear was used by Parliament to justify the construction of various coastal and harbour schemes, activities in which ICE members were actively engaged. The more explicit threat from France abated with the defeat of Bonaparte's armies at Waterloo in 1815, and his death in 1821 on St Helena, but the momentum of some schemes continued, and fears of a French resurgence fuelled proposals for 'harbours of refuge'. In the Channel Islands, the most notable such harbours were those at Braye Bay, Alderney; and St Catherine's, Jersey. Construction of the breakwaters to form both of these harbours started in 1847. The breakwater at St Catherine's was complete in 1856. The Alderney breakwater was complete to its originally intended length by 1871, but was thereafter abandoned to part length. This paper will discuss the 'official' reasons given for constructing 'harbours of refuge', and will point to some of the real reasons. It will discuss the two Channel Island sites, and the design and construction of the (three) main breakwaters. Both harbours failed in different ways. The original 'client needs' were significantly modified or their requirements simply disappeared. The paper will outline how and why these harbours / breakwaters failed, whether they were ever viable.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:Coasts > General
ID Code:1406
Deposited On:20 Jun 2017 11:05
Last Modified:05 Oct 2017 07:07

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