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HER Number:MDV125797
Name:'Zig-Zag' Groyne, Dawlish Warren.


A softwood permeable groyne, of 'zig-zag' plan, probably 1960s. Visible on aerial photographs between 2006/7 and 2015, the increasing extent indicating continuing erosion around the structure. Recently utilised as an arts installation. Removed in 2017 due to health and safety concerns.


Grid Reference:SX 989 793
Map Sheet:SX97NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDawlish
Ecclesiastical ParishOFFSHORE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • GROYNE (XX - 1960 AD to 1969 AD (Between))

Full description

GetMapping, 1999 - 2000, Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping (Aerial Photograph). SDV321648.

No structure is visible in this location.

Bluesky, 2006 - 2007, Bluesky aerial photographs 2006 - 2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341189.

A partial zig-zag structure is indistinctly visible.

GetMapping, 2010, GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV351585.

A zig-zag structure is visible.

Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC, 2015 onwards, 2015 onward Aerial Photographs (Aerial Photograph). SDV362959.

A zig-zag structure is clearly visible.

Wessex Archaeology, 2017, Dawlish Warren Beach Management Scheme: Archaeological Recording and Watching Brief (Report - Watching Brief). SDV360925.

A softwood permeable groyne, of 'zig-zag' plan, probably dates to the 1960s as a short-lived experiment in the hope of obtaining a more uniform beach shape. A similar design is known from Calshot, Hampshire. It does not seem to have been successful at the Warren, perhaps due to extreme tides and loss of material, and may have been abandoned in favour of a conventional straight groyne just to the north.
The posts were of variable but generally poor preservation, and did not appear to have been maintained recently. More posts were missing or truncated at the landward end. Originally posts had been closely spaced and most appeared to have been piled, with retaining 'kickboards'. See the report for photographs and details of construction.
What seems to be a recent art installation was observed as eight small copper plates with ‘WE ARE HERE CLAIMING SANCTUARY FROM THE ELEMENTS’ stamped on them.
The recording was undertaken in mitigation against the effects of the partial or complete removal of this and another structure due to health and safety concerns.
Debris wrapped around some posts, including below the surface, and the different composition of layers of buried beach material confirm that there had been large variations in the beach levels in the recent past.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV321648Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999 - 2000. Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping. Millennium Map. Photograph (Digital).
SDV341189Aerial Photograph: Bluesky. 2006 - 2007. Bluesky aerial photographs 2006 - 2007. Bluesky. Photograph (Digital).
SDV351585Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 2010. GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs. Getmapping. Photograph (Digital).
SDV360925Report - Watching Brief: Wessex Archaeology. 2017. Dawlish Warren Beach Management Scheme: Archaeological Recording and Watching Brief. Wessex Archaeology. 109582.04. Digital. [Mapped feature: #117956 ]
SDV362959Aerial Photograph: Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. 2015 onwards. 2015 onward Aerial Photographs. Bluesky International Ltd/Getmapping PLC. Photograph (Digital).

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV8012 - Archaeological Recording and Watching Brief: Dawlish Warren Beach Management Scheme (Ref: 109582.04)

Date Last Edited:May 31 2019 10:30AM