Old drawings of “Walton Castle”, the Roman fort of the Saxon Shore at Felixstowe

Roger Pearse | 3/23/2019 | Staff
Night987 (Posted by) Level 3
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We do possess a number of old drawings of the Roman “Saxon Shore” fort that once stood on the cliff at Felixstowe. These show what it looked like, before it went over the cliff into the sea, and then after. These were printed in 1907 in The Victoria history of the county of Suffolk, Vol. 1, between p.288 and 289,[1] and appear in the Wikipedia article.

The first was drawn in 1623:


It was accompanied by a plan:

Plan of the Roman saxon shore fort of Felixstowe made in 1623.

Ruins - Remains - Baron - Castle - Henry

The “ruins” may be the remains of a medieval baron’s castle slighted by Henry II.

Next the Victoria History prints a drawing from 1766 by Francis Grose of the ruins lying on the beach after the sea undermined the sandy cliff on which it stood.

Victoria - County - History - Volume - Time

The Victoria County History volume was published in 1907, at a time when the landscape around the area was rather different, for the port of Felixstowe did not exist, and much of the area now occupied by the town was just marshes!

The two rivers, the Stour and the Orwell, pour into the sea together to the south. The river Deben is to the north. The VH reads (p.288; I have added paragraphing and modernised spelling where needed):

Waters - Stour - Orwell - Sea - Passage

… the united waters of the Stour and Orwell poured themselves into the sea by a passage running at the foot of high land called at its eastern end Bulls Cliff, at Felixstowe. Marshes at the foot of this high land, and the traces of a waterway in the marshes, in fact, seem to point out the line or which the united waters of the Stour and Orwell reached the sea in very early times.

The VH continues:

Deben - Estuaries - Tract - Land - Miles

Between the Deben and these other estuaries lay a broad flat tract of land some miles in extent, a...
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