The Sea Reclaims All

On the east coast of England stands a once-powerful symbol of Britain’s strength. It’s former might defeated by something more dominant and violent, a force that will always win, the relentless swell of the North Sea.

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Giant monoliths protruding from the sand as if discarded by some ancient civilisation, these are the remains of Godwin Battery.

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In 1914 with a real fear of attack from the sea, defences along Britain’s coastline were bolstered. Godwin Battery was one of those defensive positions.

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Built from hardened concrete, 300 metres from the beach it was designed to protect the Humber Estuary from the German fleet.

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Huge circular bastions housed two 9.2 inch Mark X guns, replaced with 4 inch Mark IX guns in 1940.

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The guns were never called into action and in 1959 the site was sold and converted from a defensive position to a caravan park.

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Threatening towns and villages along the Yorkshire coast, erosion tears away the land at an alarming rate, about 3.5 metres a year, the fastest rate in Europe.

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Waves shred the cliffs, engulfing them and dispersing the remnants along the coast. With climate change comes rising seas causing more land to fall victim to the savage sea.

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The devastation along the east coast is proof of nature’s power, evidence that our time on earth is temporary and the record of civilisation will, in time, be swept aside.

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Can anything be done to halt the advance? For the dystopian looking Godwin Battery it is too late, the sea has reclaimed it.

*Equipment used: Canon 5D Mk IV, Canon 24-105mm f4 Lens, Canon 16-35mm f2.8 Lens. LEE IRND Filters, LEE Grad Filters, LEE Polarizer Filter.

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