Photo 8 (Return)

Lyme Regis 1997. The earliest main breakwater (the Cobb) was constructed in the 12th century to provide shelter for the town’s harbour. Successive renovations made the structure increasingly robust and since 1754, when it first became connected to the shore, it has functioned as a large terminal groyne intercepting west to east drift promoting the up-drift accretion of Monmouth Beach (1). However, this has resulted in depletion of Town Beach and Marine Parade to the east of the harbour, prompting construction of sea wall and groyne defences along the town frontage. A sandy tombolo has formed in the shelter afforded by the North Wall and is fed by a local drift reversal operating from east to west in front of the shelters along the esplanade (2). (Photo: Dorset County Council).