Collapse of Gorleston Sea Wall

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Steps leading to Corton Cliffs

Pictures by permission of Bernard Harris GYB

Contrary to popular belief Sea Walls do not fail because they are battered into submission by heavy seas. What generally happens is they are undermined by beach erosion.

If a Sea Wall is not constructed with an eye to the future then it may become prey to beach erosion. This is exactly what happened on Gorleston Beach. Because the wall's foundations were not buried deep enough as soon as the sand began to erode owing to tidal action the Sea Wall was immediately vulnerable.

Eventually the stage was reached when the Sea Wall was suspended in mid-air. It was then inevitable it would collapse under its own weight.

The photographs showing the steps to the south and north of the Beach Cafe illustrate the point. The photographs also show how deep the piling is under the present Sea Wall.