Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Swale Creek Marshes

Swale Creek seperates the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland of North Kent in the Medway Estuary. Sheppey is the last island in Kent, despite the rising water levels, because of extensive drainage and land reclaimation. Swale Creek is heavily canalised and the marshes are part of the semi-reclaimed land behind the sea walls.

This is the famous Saxon Shore, named after the Count of the Saxon Shore, comes litoris Saxonici per Britanniam, in the Notitia Dignitatum. It used to be assumed that the Saxon Shore meant the shore attacked and settled by the Saxons, but it is possible the 'the Saxons' referred to the Roman Army units in the region. Note that it is high tide; the tidal range in the UK is enormous.
The old ferry house at Harty Ferry, which was a small chain driven passenger ferry from Oare to Sheppy. There is still an inn on the island side.

Midday in southern England in January. The thing about an English winter is not the temperature, it is about as cold as North Carolina, but the light. This pic is taken at about 51N so the sun arcs across a low sky in winter.


  1. Nothing says bleak and chilly like an english marsh in winter even without snow
    Dickens knew what he was doing to start David Copperfield in one

  2. Dear Shaun
    Have you seen the graveyard where Pip met Magwych at Cooling marshes?

  3. Dear Porky
    It's difficult to believe that you are in the centre of one of the most heavily populated places in the world.