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West Bay

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Dorset  /  Bridport  /  West Bay
West Bay, also known as Bridport Harbour, is a small harbour settlement and resort on the English Channel coast in Dorset, England, sited at the mouth of the River Brit approximately 1.5mi south of Bridport. The area is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site.The harbour at West Bay is not a natural landscape feature and it has a long history of having been silted up, blocked by shingle and damaged by storms, and each time repairs, improvements and enlargements have subsequently been made. The harbour has been moved twice: it was originally 1mi inland, then was moved to the coast beside the East Cliff, then was moved again 270m along the coast to the west, where it is located today.The previous main commercial trade of the harbour—exporting Bridport's ropes and nets—declined in the second half of the 19th century. When the railway arrived in 1884, attempts were made to provide the settlement with the facilities of a resort, and today West Bay has a mixed economy of tourism and fishing.HistoryBridport historically needed a harbour in order to export its principal products, rope and nets. Originally the harbour was about 1mi inland, close to the town, and its exit to the sea—the river mouth—was 270m east of its current position. The Anglo-Saxons and Normans struggled to keep the harbour open because the river mouth repeatedly silted up and was blocked by shingle from Chesil Beach, so eventually a system of sluices was devised to help keep it clear.
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