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HER Number:MDV42609
Name:Reclamation Banks on Seaton Marshes


18th century reclamation banks enclosing part of Seaton Marshes, visible in part as curvilinear earthworks on aerial photographs taken between the 1940s and 2012. Some sections may have been removed between 2006 and 2010.


Grid Reference:SY 252 915
Map Sheet:SY29SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishAxmouth
Civil ParishColyton
Civil ParishSeaton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBEER AND SEATON

Protected Status

  • SHINE: Saltworking on reclaimed land of the former (medieval) harbour of the Axe Estuary at Seaton

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY29SE/188
  • SHINE Candidate (Yes)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (XVIII to XXI - 1701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133933.

Parkinson, m. /tda/117(1985)50-51/the axe estuary and its marshes.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV133934.

Griffith, f. M. /devon's past; an aerial view/(1988)52-3.

Parkinson, M., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV59968.

Reclamation bank.18 acres n of seaton marshes were enclosed and reclaimed at some time between 1770 and 1840. A bank was built north from circa ngr sy25339140 following the sinuous parish boundary and then followed the south bank of the stafford brook westwards. The railway (sy29se/74) has obscured much of this bank, but curves of it w of the railway are marked on the os 6" (1891) map and are visible today. Stretches of the stafford brook bank are marked on the os provisional 6" (1933) map, but were destroyed by stream modifications in 1983 (parkinson).

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1412, RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3359-3360 13-APR-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352504.

Straight and curvilinear earthwork banks are visible.

Channel Coast Observatory, 2001-2012, Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography, Channel Coast Observatory SY2591_20120917ortho.ecw 17-SEP-2012 (Aerial Photograph). SDV351226.

Two areas of raised ground at 325314,91470 and 325339,91550 may retain part of the curvilinear sections of the bank.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 1480 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

'Willoughby Embankment' or 'Eastern Bank' built by John Willoughby Lord of Manor of Seaton in c. 1660-1661 in order to reclaim Seaton Marshes. Clay core faced with stone and piles. Bank extends north from c. SY 2533 9140 following parish boundary and then south bank of Stafford Brook westward. Sluicegates constructed at SY 253 918, SY 252 906, SY 252 903 and SY 252 900. Much of bank since obscured by railway.

Next Perspectives, 2006, Pan Government Agreement, Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SY2591 17-JUN-2006 (Aerial Photograph). SDV352652.

The curvilinear sections of the bank are not clearly visible.

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

A lagoon has been excavated on the west of the railway line, and some of the curvilinear sections of the earthwork are not visible.

Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R., 2013-2014, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV351146.

Curvilinear segments of a probable reclamation bank are visible as substantial earthworks up to 8 metres in width on aerial photographs taken from the 1940s onwards. Three curvilinear segments remained of the section truncated by the railway, centred on the west at circa 325301,91593 and 325314,91470, and on the east at circa 325339,91550. These are depicted on the 1880s-1890s Ordnance Survey map, so have not been transcribed as part of the project. They were substantial earthworks at up to 8 metres in width, although the excavation of ponds or lagoons between 2006 and 2010 may have partially or completely removed the curvilinear segments on the western side of the railway line.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV133933Migrated Record:
SDV133934Migrated Record:
SDV351146Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S. + Sims, R.. 2013-2014. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV351226Aerial Photograph: Channel Coast Observatory. 2001-2012. Channel Coast Observatory Aerial Photography. Channel Coast Observatory. Digital. Channel Coast Observatory SY2591_20120917ortho.ecw 17-SEP-2012.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 1480.
SDV351585Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 2010. GetMapping 2010 aerial photographs. Getmapping. Photograph (Digital).
SDV352504Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1412. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). RAF/106G/UK/1412 RP 3359-3360 13-APR-1946.
SDV352652Aerial Photograph: Next Perspectives. 2006. Pan Government Agreement. Pan Government Agreement Aerial Photographs. Digital. Next Perspectives PGA Imagery SY2591 17-JUN-2006.
SDV59968Migrated Record: Parkinson, M..

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 8 2020 11:30PM