Hallsands

 

The old village of Hallsands is now a ruin. It can only be seen from a viewing platform, the rocks and cliffs now being unstable. It fell into the sea in January 1917.

 

There is evidence of a settlement at the coastal village of Hallsands, South Devon, as far back as the beginning of he 16th century. By the late 19th century it has thirty-seven houses, a pub, a chapel, a reading room and a population of 159, nearly all fishing families specializing in crab fishing.

 

In the 1890s, in response to a royal demand for new ships, Sir John Jackson built a dock at Keyham in Devonport, Plymouth. Enormous amounts of shingle were required. Initially dredging was planned off Exmouth, but after objections from the Hon. Mark Rolle it was moved to offshore Hallsands. 1,600 tons was dredged daily and local residents knew that this would have a catastrophic effect on their coastline and beach. After protracted wrangles involving the Board of Trade, the local MP, the local Rural District Council, the dredging license was finally revoked in 1902, but, essentially, it was too late. The damage was done. Storms and harsh winters eroded the village until in January 1917 a severe storm destroyed all but one house.