Monument record SUE 099 - Probable ferry port, possibly of Medieval or Post Medieval date on the Sudbourne bank of the River Alde, Sudbourne

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Probable ferry port, possibly of Medieval or Post Medieval date on the Sudbourne bank of the River Alde, Sudbourne


Grid reference Centred TM 45057 55156 (90m by 140m)
Map sheet TM45NE


Type and Period (3)

Full Description

A probable river ferry port or quay of possible Medieval or Post Medieval date, is visible on aerial photographs located on the Sudbourne side of the River Alde at circa TM45075517. The site can be seen on aerial photographs from 1943 onwards (S1). On the 1943 photographs it is visible as an earthwork causeway at high tide, extending into the saltmarsh inter-tidal zone for circa 60m, from the end of Ferry Lane. There it meets a pair of earthwork banks, circa 15m apart and approximately 55m in length, that extend further into the river channel and appear to form a safe haven for boats to land. The channel formed by these earthworks is clearly visible at low tide on 1955 photography, as well as the remains of a probable timber structure extending for a further circa 25m into the river at circa TM45105521 (S2). This structure is more clearly visible on 1972 photography, probably due to the erosion of the riverine silts (S3). There is no mention of a functioning ferry quay in this area on the first or second edition Ordnance Survey maps of circa 1884 and 1904 (S4, S5). However, the existence of Ferry Lane, Ferry Lane belt (woodland) and Ferry Farm in the area, which are marked on the first and second edition Ordnance Survey maps, strongly suggests the prior existence of a ferry quay in this immediate area. Also, Norden's 1601 map of Orford Ness appears to show a crossing point on the Alde at this location, supporting the existence of a ferry at this time (S6). In addition, the sea walls in this area appear to respect the ferry port, suggesting that the ferry probably continued in use at least until the 19th century when this area was probably enclosed (S7).

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <S1> Photograph: USAAF. USAAF Air Photograph. NMR US/7PH/GP/LOC132 5046-5047 30-Dec-1943.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 58/1674 133-134 04-Mar-1955.
  • <S3> Photograph: OS, AP. NMR OS/72057 107-108 24-Mar-1972.
  • <S4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition. circa 1884.
  • <S5> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25". circa 1904.
  • <S6> Map: John Norden. 1601. Orford Ness, A selection of Maps Mainly by John Norden - presented to J A Steers.. 1 inch to 1 mile. Pilot Survey 1 - map of Iken marshes and the Alde.
  • <S7> Map: Historic Map of Sudbourne: Harwich to Lowestoft, c. 1800. circa 1800.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 25 2013 11:27AM

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