At the top of the beautiful sandy beach at the southern end of Garrettstown Strand lies a double row of thick and heavy wooden posts like the remains of ancient fortifications. They are a defensive structure of sorts but most likely against the worst effects of the sea rather than invading hordes. They seem to be railway sleepers bedded deeply in the beach and fixed vertically to horizontal iron rails by means of rivets and plates. I guess the function is to prevent waves washing away the partly vegetated sand and to protect the holiday properties that are sited close by.
The front row is obviously quite an old structure which has been reduced by wear, tear and the elements to the most interestingly patterned and textured timbers, with the corroding iron elements bleeding colour deep into the grain of the wood. Dried seaweed, strands of fishing line and other flotsam is trapped between the timbers, while large beach stones and pebbles have come to rest at their base. A short distance behind this line of old defences, a higher and sturdier structure has been recently built to give more effective protection to both dunes and dwellings.
At the northern end of the beach, a few isolated stumps of the sleepers with their associated iron-work can been seen partly-concealed by dry stems of marram grass at the base of higher dunes. Here, large boulders are just visible reinforcing the function of the timbers from behind.
Between the two sets of revetment that lie respectively on the north and south ends of the beach, the wooden structures are not visible, and may have been entirely replaced by a much more robust structure which I will show in the next post.
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