Fortress Against the Sea

A stone’s throw from the original castle, Sutton Harbour’s sea defence continues to prove its Worth

Britain is set for another season of battering as the Atlantic weather patterns throw their wintry worst at us – and of course the first port of call for any Sou’Westerly storm is Plymouth. But with the lock gates at Sutton Harbour controlling the depth there is room for 44 million gallons of overspill from outside the lock whilst still staying within the safe flood prevention parameters. It means the safety of berth holders and businesses is assured. 

It is safe to say that much of Britain’s Ocean City of Plymouth’s maritime history is concerned with the eternal struggle against tide and tempest.

In the days when Plymouth and Sutton Pool were synonymous and Sutton Pool provided the most shelter, Sutton (the ‘South Town’) was an interesting combination of a flood-pool inside a narrow ridge of limestone rock, which was naturally breached in two places allowing the small boats to pass in and out.