New look viewing platform reopened at Hallsands -part of the ‘Unlocking our Coastal Heritage project

The viewing platform above the ruined village of Hallsands has now been reopened to the public after geotechnical specialists declared it safe after a recent rock fall forced a temporary closure and carried away the end of a nearby store building.

Now visitors to the platform will be able to see the new fully illustrated panels recently re-worked to provide the story of the people who lived there and how their lives were torn apart when dredging for Plymouth docks left the village without protection against storms.

The panels examine its  history, trials, tribulations and ultimately its destruction in 1917. They recall details of Hallsands residents’ lives, living from the sea, a life of irregular earnings and hazard, but a close-knit, sustainable community. Why the village was built there is explained and how the arrival of the dredgers to take the shingle spelt the beginning of the end for the villagers and their houses. It charts the gradual demise of the village and how the residents were let down by some and supported by others.

Cllr Richard Foss who farms on the coast and is also chairman of the South Devon AONB Partnership Committee said “We’re delighted that  the new panels can now be fully appreciated at the viewing platform.  They chart the history of the village  extensively and bring it to life with  images, recollections and quotes.   We’re most grateful to local residents, and the Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum for their information, pictures and advice.”

Funding for the panels came from the South West Coast Path ‘Unlocking our Coastal Heritage’ project, South Devon AONB and the Slapton Line Partnership.