The Geography Department



Holderness Coast


Mappleton March 27 2002


multimap on Mappleton




Withernsea and


Spurn Head March 27 2002


Aldbrough April 2 2008

Great Cowden April 2 2008

Mapplelton April 1 & 2 2008

Skipsea April 1 2008



Flamborough Head  (Selwicks Bay) 1 April 2008




Mappleton's car park and coast viewing area, looking towards the village.


The entrance to the new cut down to the rock groyne and beach.


The cliff-top to the north, from the car park.


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A panorama from the car park area. The graded slopes are largely intact, indicating no erosion to the north of the rock groyne.

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Rapid retreat is the order of the day to the south of the car park. Here, a fence is left hanging. A wide beach is evident at low water, but it is too low to provide protection to the boulder clay cliffs behind. Notice how wet and mobile the cliff has become.


The lost fence-line from the south. Erosion of the cliff begins in earnest where the rock rip-rap, on the beach, ends.





The rock groyne and beach rip rap protect both beach and cliffs, but not entirely, as the slump in the foreground shows.




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Warning signs on the access roadway.


The scene at the foot of the access road.


To add to the problems of this coast, there is a firing range to the north of Mappleton!

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The rock groyne and access roadway from the groyne. Beach-top rip-rap is much in evidence.


The difference in beach heights and widths can be seen here.


The beach is very much a mixture of fine sand, and much coarser deposits, such as the pebbles on the foreground, washed from the cliffs and subsequently sorted.

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Looking north-east along the top of the beach as a subdued line of rip-rap. I can only presume the beach has risen since the installation of the rock groyne and smothered the rocks here.


A slump in the graded slope to the north of the rock groyne, below the large agricultural building shown below.


Another pair of slumps on the slopes above the above the rip-rap.


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A series of photographs taken from above the graded slope, looking back across the village towards the church.


Along the cliff-top, showing the nearness of some buildings to the cliff-top.



Looking back across the village from the cliff-top above the slumps.


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Here follow a few photographs to show the character of this small village. This is Cliff Road, from the entrance to the car park.


The entrance to the farmyard, a scene punctuated with banging and rock music!


At the head of Cliff Road is the Post Office, sited at the cross-roads.


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The church from outside the Post Office. The main road, the B1242, passes to the north from left to right.



The garage is located directly opposite the church. Some newer housing is evident off the main road.



The bend in the road marks the end to the village to the north. The road has enough traffic to justify the lights, controlling the turning to Hatfield.

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The entrance to the village from the  north. The farm on this corner is the nearest to the cliff-top.





The busy B1242  road has been the saving of Mappleton. Only the expense of re-siting this essential routeway has prompted the limited coast protection measures at Mappleton. The gentleman on the right, in the doorway, was giving directions to the HGV, and was a good source of local information.


The entrance to the village from the south. Fifty metres past the speed limit signs is the turning, to the right, for Cliff Road.




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Tunstall on multimap





The wide beach at Tunstall is a decidedly low-water feature .. at Spring Tide!  Newly-laid slabs of concrete have been thrown down and undermined even before they have been used.


The retreat of the roadway is marked by hastily erected barriers.


Although opposite a well-kept and prestigious caravan park, the cliff-top is not elegant!

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Tunstall cliffs are marked by a large compound of fishing boats and their gear, very colourful in the Spring sunshine. Old railway wagons seem the preferred medium of storage.

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Looking south from the fishing boat area is a beach strewn with concrete, tank traps from the second world war. In the late 60's /early 70's there were regular chequerboard lines of them on the beach at Tunstall, Kilnsea, Cowden (near Mapplewell) and Spurn.


above note added by Sean Brady.



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The concrete continues to the north, under the high cliffs of Tunstall.


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Farm machinery lines the road to the cliff-top, with the village and its church in the background.


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The fields in front of the church show medieval cultivation pattern.


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Withernsea March 27 2002


Withernsea on multimap




Beach scene at Withernsea, with defences such as groynes, rip-rap and a recurved sea wall.


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A substantial rip-rap defence protects the sea wall.


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Easington March 27 2002


Easington on multimap




The gas terminal at Easington covers a large site, one that was only expected to serve for 30 years. Now that the life time of the gasfields is seen to be longer, coast protections works are necessary to protect the site.


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Immediately to the north of the gas terminal is a new wind turbine field of 8 machines. Perhaps this is the future, or part of it!


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Spurn Head March 27 2002


Spurn Head on multimap





After paying your 1.50 toll the roadway soon veers off on a detour from an older, abandoned course.


The  end of the spit are the facilities for the pilot cutters and the lifeboat station.



The recurved end of Spurn Head.



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The present lighthouse and its predecessor indicate the movement of the spit.



The spine of the spit at its southern end rises to perhaps 8-10 metres and is sand covered by grass and scrubby bushes.


The seaward face of the spit is suffering from beach-lowering, as seen in this beach cliff of about half a metre.

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Sand being blown through the marram grass on the outside curve of the spit.




The beach on the inside of the curve of the spit contains much in the way of bricks and blocks, doubtless old defensive measures.



The outside (North Sea) curve of the spit has many concrete blocks from defensive measures, as well as sand and a large tractor tyre!

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No better indication of past positions of the spit exists than the line of an old railway, here heading into the inside of the bay.


An abandoned roadway resulted from erosion of the outer bank of the spit, near its northerly connection with the mainland.


A break in the spit has resulted in the laying of this concrete roadway matting, here covered by blowing sand.

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The beach-cliff, looking south towards the lighthouse.




The composition of the beach is nicely exposed here, and is very mixed.



A groyne that has probably been destroyed by beach lowering. weakening its foundations, rather than having been battered in place.

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