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Archaeology & History

Violent storms destroyed 'Britain's Atlantis'

By T.K. Randall
February 21, 2016 · Comment icon 3 comments

Dunwich beach as it appears today. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Ashley Dace
New evidence has been found of the storms that sunk the busy coastal town of Dunwich 700 years ago.
Dunwich might be little more than a small coastal village of 120 people today, but back in the 11th century it was the tenth largest town in the whole of England with a population of thousands.

For years archaeologists have been piecing together what became of this seaside settlement and now new evidence discovered in the sediment off the coast of Suffolk has confirmed that Dunwich was ultimately destroyed by a series of violent storms that lasted for decades.

Now residing almost entirely below the waves, the town, which has since been referred to as "Britain's Atlantis", was originally hit back in 1286 and again in 1326 by destructive storms which began a steady decline as more and more of its infrastructure was ravaged by the elements.
The town's residents eventually had to admit defeat when another huge storm hit in 1338.

"We use sound to create a video image of the seabed and the reason we do that is because when you dive at Dunwich it's pitch black," said Professor David Sear of the University of Southampton.

"We found the ruins of about four churches and we've also found ruins of what we think was a toll house. But we've also found shipwrecks for example, and there's some we've found with this Touching the Tide project, which no-one's known before."

Source: BBC News | Comments (3)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by morphiouse1 8 years ago
Britain gets smaller every year with coastal erosion. how many thousands of square mile have we lost since roman times.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Goodnite 8 years ago
I imagine at one time GB was connected to France before the channel happened.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Black Monk 8 years ago
Britain gets smaller every year with coastal erosion. You can probably say that about the vast majority of countries. And it is possible to reclaim land from the sea, as the Dutch did. What annoys me is those daft newspaper headlines which say things like "COASTAL EROSION: THE DESPERATE BATTLE TO SAVE BRITAIN'S COASTLINES." The last time I checked, Britain's coastlines are NOT being destroyed by erosion.

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