Archaeology in Action at Benfleet Creek

CITiZAN held a one day workshop to record the remains of the Salvation Army Wharf at Benfleet Creek.

In August the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN)* held a one day app workshop at Leigh on Sea and Benfleet Creek, Essex. They were joined by members of AGES AHA, a group of people interested in archaeology in South East Essex.

Southend, Shoebury and Leigh – Commons Wikimedia


The morning was spent in the lovely Fishermen’s Chapel in Leigh on Sea.

The group then walked along Benfleet Creek to record the remains of the Salvation Army Wharf.  Built in the late 19th century to serve the Salvation Army brickworks, only the timber posts of the jetty and concrete and brick footings of an associated shed remain. From their shape the footings appear to have been constructed by pouring concrete and bricks into roughly dug pits.  As the volunteers observed, the fact that the footings now lie on the surface of the saltmarsh indicates that there’s been quite extensive erosion along this section of the Thames Estuary. For pictures of the wharf in use and after it had gone out of use, see the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive website


*  CITiZAN, the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network, highlights the threat to a wealth of coastal and estuarine sites, most of which have no statutory protection. These archaeological features encompass a long time span – from prehistoric forests and settlements to Roman forts and villas to 19th-century ship-breaking yards full of abandoned boats, barges and ships, many of which are of considerable local and national significance.