Splash Point is the larger of the two sea defences you come across. Walk a few steps eastward and you can access the start of the smaller, older, broken groyne which protected the old sewer outlet into the sea in the 1880’s before the new pumping station was installed. The brick wall just to the east of Splash Point was the boundary of Cliff Cottage. Click here for more information.
Seaford Head rises to some 283 feet (86 metres). Once earthworks adorned its summit but are now largely lost to the sea. According to Historic England the earthwork is not a promontory fort but the remains of a Iron Age hill-fort, though there is evidence of subsequent Roman occupation. It dates from about 600 – 400BC, but a large portion of it has been eroded since its construction.
Original entrances can be seen in the North Western and Eastern ramparts. Roman debris found in the ditch appears to also show occupation at that time after a period of disuse. There is an Early Bronze Age, ~2,500BC, circular bowl barrow within the ramparts of the fort in the NW corner which can just about be discerned in this image. Flint axe heads, other tools and pottery have been unearthed here along with a barbed and tanged flint arrow head.
Two rectangular structures in the NW corner (which has partly disturbed the South Eastern part of the barrow) and in the centre are believed to be of WWII constructions
It is shown as complete in a map of 1587 when, as Burdyck Hill, it was the site of two Armada beacons. It has suffered coastal erosion resulting in the collapse of the whole of the south west portion of the fort into the sea.
However another Fort, the East Fort (now also lost to the sea) existed nearby from at least 1717 and was located on a shore platform immediately east of the older groyne. Later in 1795 this site was referred to as “Chinting Castle” although it appears to have been abandoned by then.
For a glorious view of the Head to the east and across Seaford Bay to Newhaven’s harbour piers in the west, head to the longer, newer groyne. This is Splash Point itself. The Town Council in conjunction with Seaford Community Partnership and Southern Water recently installed a community arts project called The Shoal. Have a look: it speaks for itself.
If you are interested in the chalk geology between Seaford and Cuckmere Haven a detailed technical article can be found here.
More information about the Napoleonic Defences of Seaford can be found in Rodney Castleden’s excellent book “Forlorn and Widowed – Seaford in the Napoleonic Wars” available from the Seaford Museum.
Now head for the low Martello Tower with the cannon atop, past the colourful and sought-after beach huts.