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Sea-shore Alluvion—Dungeness or Denge-nesse

Nature volume 25, pages 583584 | Download Citation



As Lambarde points out, lying in Walland and Denge marshes, the “neshe” or Saxon “nesse,” a “nebbe” or “nose” of land extending into the sea derived its name from the last marsh—Somner terms it “Stone End”—“Lapis appositus in ultimo terræ.” Grunville Collins, in 1693, says, “You may keep within nine or ten fathom of it close to the shoar.” Westward of Folkestone great changes have taken place in the condition of the old havens, due to the early accretion and continuous extension up to the present time of this remarkable spit of shingle formed to windward of a tidal estuary. The whole area at the present time between the Royal Military Canal which runs from Sandgate west of Folkestone to Rye, and which forms the base of the Ness, twenty miles in length, and southward to the sea exhibits parallel series of curves running in undulating waves, displaying the periodical accessions to the coast very similar to the annular rings in timber; the surface of which, landward, is gradually brought into cultivation. Lydd, at a comparatively recent period a port, is now three or four miles from the sea. Two natural roadsteads are formed by this spit, in which, dependent on the quarter from which the wind prevails, seven to eight hundred vessels may be seen riding at anchor, lying within two or three miles of Lighthouse Point, the extremity of the Ness.

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