Branodunum was the name of an ancient Roman fort to the east of the modern English village of Brancaster in Norfolk. Its Roman name derives from the local Celtic language, may mean "fort of the raven"; the fort, built in the 230s, became part of the Saxon Shore fortification system. It is of a typical rectangular castrum layout. According to the 4th-century document Notitia Dignitatum, the fort was garrisoned by the Equites Dalmatae Brandodunenses, although a tile found on the site stamped Cohors I Aquitanorum suggests that its original garrison was the "First cohort from Aquitania". There is possible evidence of Saxon use of the site. According to the National Trust notice boards present on the site of the fort, the fort is within a rectangular field to the east of the current village of Brancaster. Urban residential development in the 1970s has covered much of the area to the west of the fort where part of the local'vicus' was situated; the site is bounded by the modern village of Brancaster to the west, the A149 road to the south.
The site is maintained by the National Trust. Free access is possible from the Norfolk Coastal Walk. In Roman times, the fort's northern wall lay directly on the seashore. Since the shoreline has receded, the fort now lies inland; the fort was of a rectangular shape with rounded corners, with a 10 ft wide wall with internal turrets at the corners and backed by an earthen rampart, which increased the wall's strength and gave easy access to the battlements. In front of the wall there was a V-shaped single ditch; the wall thus enclosed an area of 2.56 ha. In typical castrum fashion, the fort had one on each side. Evidence of the eastern and western gates and of flanking towers survives. Aerial survey has revealed the existence of several buildings in the fort's interior, including the principia. A civilian settlement existed on the eastern and northern sides of the fort, dated to the 2nd century AD, its size would make it one of the largest settlements in the territory of the Iceni tribe. Because the streets of the settlement are not aligned with the layout of the fort, it has been hypothesised that an earlier fort, built of timber, existed at the site from as early as the revolt of Queen Boudicca in the mid-1st century AD.
The walls still stood up to 12 feet tall in the seventeenth century, but robbing of materials during following centuries means that only the site and the earthworks now remain. The site provided the subject of an episode of archaeological television programme Time Team first broadcast in January 2013; the Time Team team made new discoveries which extend the knowledge base beyond that described above and this note advises of that, until the information established in that 2013 surveys and dig is included on this page. Fields, Nic. Rome's Saxon Shore - Coastal Defences of Roman Britain AD 250-500. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-094-9. Johnston, David E.. "The Saxon Shore". CBA Research Report. London: Council for British Archaeology. ISBN 0-900312-43-2. Retrieved 2007-08-20. Branodunum | Roman Britain
Burgh Castle Roman Site
Burgh Castle is the site of one of several Roman shore forts constructed in England around the 3rd century AD, to hold cavalry as a defence against Saxon raids up the rivers of the east and south coasts of southern Britain. It is located on the summit of ground sloping steeply towards the estuary of the River Waveney, in the civil parish of Burgh Castle, in the county of Norfolk; this fort was known as Gariannonum, although the single record that describes it as such may mean the Roman site at Caister-on-Sea. Between the mid-7th and 9th centuries the site was occupied by a monastic settlement, in the 11th and 12th centuries a Norman motte and bailey castle existed there. In Roman times known as Gariannonum, name that appears in a single source; the identification is now thought doubtful by specialists. Burgh, is derived from the same Old English language word burh; the Old English word was used for a fortified town or proto-castle, as in Burgh Castle, was related to the verb beorgan, meaning "to keep, make secure".
In German Burg means castle or fortress, though so many towns grew up around castles that it came to mean city, is incorporated into many placenames, such as Hamburg and Strasbourg. The fort is rectangular, measuring 205 m by 100 m; the walls on the north and much of the south side are intact, standing at a height of 4.6 m and measuring up to 3 m thick at the base. They have a core of mortared flint rubble and an external and internal facing of prepared flint and red tile or brick in alternating bands. Against the outer face of the walls there are six solid bastions of pear-shaped plan spaced symmetrically, two on the south wall, one each at the north-east and south-east angles, one slipped from position on the north wall, one below the south wall where it has fallen; the west wall has at some time in the distant past collapsed down the underlying hillside and into what was once an estuary but is now a marsh, nothing of it is now visible. Breydon Water is all, left of the estuary this fort once overlooked.
Coin and pottery evidence on the site indicates that the occupation of the fort dates from the mid-3rd century AD, with Roman occupation continuing up to the early 5th century AD when the integration of Roman and Saxon traditions appear. Burgh Castle has been suggested as the site of ‘’Cnobheresburg’’, the unknown place in East Anglia, where in about 630 the first Irish monastery in southern England was founded by Saint Fursey as part of the Hiberno-Scottish mission described by Bede. Historians are unable to agree on a better one; the fort site was excavated by the archaeologist Charles Green between 1958 and 1961, revealed the remains of a timber monastic church, in the southwest corner of the fort, with an Christian cemetery just to the north of it, which contained some 144 interments as well as pits containing re-interred bones. A cluster of oval huts towards the north-east angle of the fort may be interpreted as cells or workshops. Coins and'Ipswich' ware carry the occupation well into the 8th and 9th century.
However a detailed report by Stephen Johnson of Norfolk Museums Service in 1983 concluded that there was no conclusive evidence for any monastic settlement in Burgh Castle itself. In the 11th and 12th centuries a motte was constructed in the south-west corner, using the Roman fort as a bailey; the motte was removed in around 1770, in 1839 it was levelled. The ditch was in-filled in the same year. Archaeological excavations identified a timber tower on the motte, with the bailey, of the castle located to the northeast of the motte; the fort lies close to the medieval church of Burgh Castle St Peter and St Paul, which incorporates Roman brick taken from the fort site, in its fabric. In the 17th century, Sir Henry Spelman recorded a tradition that the fort had been occupied by Jews, reported the name of a track leading away from it as "Jews' Way"; this is to reflect a popular sense of the site having been the home of an ancient but enigmatic people, its use as a quarry for building materials. The site is located to the west of the village and civil parish of Burgh Castle, in the county of Norfolk.
It is located on the eastern bank of the southernmost part of Breydon Water, formed at the mouths of the Rivers Ant, Bure and Waveney. Today however it is separated from the estuary by mudflats; the Roman Shore Fort site of Caister-on-Sea lies a few miles to the northeast. The site is owned by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, with the walls in the care of English Heritage; the site is open to the public. A major access and interpretation scheme has been created by the Trust, with funding and collaboration from Natural England and English Heritage. Interpretation panels in the car park area and around the fort provide information for visitors. An all-weather path around the property is wheelchair friendly and allows disabled visitors to reach as far as the river. Burgh Castle is the Roman fort featured in the short story Interloper's Folly by S. A Carr. Roman sites in the United Kingdom List of Roman place names in Brita
Richborough is a settlement north of Sandwich on the east coast of the county of Kent, England. Richborough lies close to the Isle of Thanet; the population of the settlement is included in the civil parish of Ash. Although now some distance from the sea, Richborough stood at the southern end of the Wantsum Channel from prehistory to the early medieval period; the channel provided a safe searoute from the continent to the Thames estuary and separated the Isle of Thanet from the mainland. The channel has now silted up, but prior to this, Richborough was an important natural harbour and was the landing place of the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43; until October 2008 there was uncertainty whether this was the site of the Claudian invasion of Britain. The 2008 discovery proved that this was a defensive site of a Roman beachhead, protecting 700 metres of coast; the suffragan bishop of Richborough, in the Diocese of Canterbury, was created in 1995 to provide a second provincial episcopal visitor for the Province of Canterbury.
The Romans founded the site and, after their withdrawal, the site was occupied by a Saxon religious settlement. The site is managed by English Heritage. During the First World War the capacity of Dover and other nearby ports was found to be inadequate, a major harbour was constructed at Richborough, its purpose was to provide the BEF with its heavy equipment. In 1917, the British Government began to look into the possibility of installing a cross-Channel train ferry at Richborough to allow Roll-on/roll-off transportation of railway rolling stock and supplies to the allied Front Lines; this was the first time. Three new train-ferries were built SS Train Ferry No. 1, SS Train Ferry No. 2 and SS Train Ferry No. 3 and operations began on 10 February 1918, conveying nearly 900 tons of cargo at a time between Richborough and Calais and Dunkirk. Although existing barge services were still in operation across the Channel from Richborough, the use of train-ferries was more practical for larger and heavier cargos, such as tanks.
The use of train-ferries reduced the amount of labour required in the transport of these items. It took only 30 to 40 minutes to load or unload the 54 railway wagons and fifty or sixty motor vehicles that could be carried by these train-ferries. An analysis done at the time found that to transport 1,000 tons of war material from the point of manufacture to the front by conventional means involved the use of 1,500 labourers, whereas when using train-ferries that number decreased to around 100 labourers. To accommodate for train-ferries, a new type of terminal had to be designed and built at Richbrough and Dunkirk. Adjustable steel bridges with two sets of railway lines, spanning between 80 and 100 feet depending on the local conditions at the each port, were installed at each of the three ports to allow a true connection between railway lines on shore and the tracks on the ferry. By mid-1918 it had become a large site, occupying 2000 acres and capable of handling 20,000 tons of traffic each week.
After the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918, train ferries were used extensively for the return of material from the Front. Indeed, according to war office statistics, a greater tonnage of material was transported by train ferry from Richborough in 1919 than in 1918; as the train ferries had space for motor transport as well as railway rolling stock, thousands of lorries, motor cars and "B Type" buses used these ferries to return to England. The Richborough Power Station was opened, in 1962 burning coal as its fuel. In 1971 it was converted to run on oil before it was converted again to burn the controversial fuel Orimulsion during the final years of operation. Orimulsion is an emulsion originating from the Orinoco Basin, offloaded here; the plant closed down in 1996, but much of it remained in situ until the demolition of the three cooling towers on 11 March 2012. A new Energy Park is planned for the site, including a Diesel Peak Generator. Bushe-Fox, J. P. Third report on the excavations of the Roman fort at Richborough, Oxford: The University Press.
Fourth report on the excavations of the Roman fort at Richborough, Oxford: The University Press. The Saxon Shore, London: Council for British Archaeology, CBA Research Report 18, 1977 Pratt, Edwin A. British Railways and the Great War, London Selwyn and Blount, Ltd. 1921 Album Richborough, stoa.org Richborough Roman Fort page at English Heritage
Caister Roman Site
Caister Roman Site is a Roman Saxon Shore fort, located in Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk. It was constructed around AD 200 for a unit of the Roman army and navy and occupied until around 370-390 AD; this fort was known as Gariannonum, although the single record that describes it as such may mean the Roman site at Burgh Castle. The fort was 3.5 ha in size and square in shape, with large stone perimeter walls 4 to 5 m high, earth ramparts and ditches of 175 m in length on all four sides. There were defensive towers at the corners and fortified gate houses in the middle of each sideAt the time of its construction, the site of the fort would have been on the north side of an estuary, with a pebbled street from the fort's south gate leading a short distance to a harbour or docks. In around AD 260 a fort at Burgh Castle was constructed on the opposite side of the estuary, with both forts serving to protect Roman shipping in the estuary. Between 1951 and 1955, a section of the fort was excavated with the main structures left exposed, including part of the south gate, the western section of the south wall perimeter defences, building foundations, main road.
The remainder of the site 3.15 ha now lies under modern housing. Inside the current visitor entrance is a large defensive ditch, the innermost of a series of ditches around the fort, part of the south gate, to the left of the gate the remains of a small rectangular guard chamber. Just to the north of the south wall, on a east–west alignment are the remains of a building of 45 m in length with at least six rooms of unequal size, a further wing of the building extends northwards at the western end. On the southern side is a parallel wall which could be part of a portico, would have served to retain the inner face of the earthen bank behind the south wall of the fort; the second room from the west contains an example of a Hypocaust heated floor. On the north side of the building is a corridor running along the southern and south eastern sides of a rectangular courtyard beyond, it is that the building was in use during the third and fourth centuries AD and to have served various domestic and industrial functions at different times.
There is evidence that the building was damaged by fire in the fourth century. Within the courtyard area are parts of other earlier buildings, which include for various structures and the remains of a corn-drying kiln and a water tank. During the original archaeological digs, this building had been incorrectly interpreted as either a hotel or seamen's hostel, it was assumed that the building north of here was a brothel, however since both buildings have been reinterpreted as forming part of the original fort. Following the Roman occupation, the site remained unoccupied until the Middle and Late Saxon periods, until a settlement was established near the centre of the fort. To the south of the fort a large Saxon cemetery has been excavated. Today the remains of the fort are opened free of charge to the public by English Heritage. Finds during the archaeological excavation include for Roman coins of the mid 4th century, as well as seven small hoards, the remains of wattle and daub walling, glass, part of a pewter plate, grain.
The site is located in the county of Norfolk. At the time of its construction, the site of the fort would have been on the north side of an estuary, at the mouths of the Rivers Ant, Bure and Waveney. Today however, the northward extension of the Yarmouth sandbank has meant that this shore fort now lies some distance inland; the Roman Shore Fort site of Burgh Castle lies a few miles to the southwest. Roman sites in the United Kingdom List of Roman place names in Britain List of Latin place names in Britain Roman Britain Sub-Roman Britain English Heritage website: Caister Roman fort Pastscape website: Caister Roman fort English Heritage website: Scheduled ancient monument listing and details for Caister Roman Fort
The Carausian Revolt was an episode in Roman history, during which a Roman naval commander, declared himself emperor over Britain and northern Gaul. His Gallic territories were retaken by the western Caesar Constantius Chlorus in 293, after which Carausius was assassinated by his subordinate Allectus. Britain was regained by Constantius and his subordinate Asclepiodotus in 296. Carausius, a Menapian of humble birth, rose through the ranks of the Roman military and was appointed to a naval command at Bononia, tasked with clearing the English Channel of Frankish and Saxon raiders. However, he was accused of collaborating with the pirates to enrich himself, the western Augustus, ordered him to be put to death. Carausius responded by declaring himself emperor in Britain, his forces comprised not only his fleet, augmented by new ships he had built, the three legions stationed in Britain, but a legion he had seized in Gaul, a number of foreign auxiliary units, a levy of Gaulish merchant ships, barbarian mercenaries attracted by the prospect of booty.
A panegyric delivered to Maximian in AD 288 or 289 refers to the emperor preparing an invasion to oust Carausius. A panegyric to Constantius Chlorus says that this invasion failed due to bad weather, although Carausius claimed it as a military victory, Eutropius says that hostilities were in vain thanks to Carausius's military skill, peace was agreed. Carausius began to entertain visions of official recognition, he minted his own coins and brought their value into line with Roman issues as well as acknowledging and honouring Maximian and Diocletian. This suggests that he would have been willing to participate in a rapprochement, if the others had agreed, he appears to have appealed to native British dissatisfaction with Roman rule: he issued coins with legends such as Restitutor Britanniae and Genius Britanniae. Britain had been part of the Gallic Empire established by Postumus in 260, which had included Gaul and Hispania and had only been restored by Aurelian in 274. A milestone from Carlisle with his name on it suggests that the whole of Roman Britain was in Carausius' grasp.
In 293 Constantius Chlorus, now the western Caesar, isolated Carausius by retaking the territory he held in Gaul. He besieged the port of Bononia, building a mole across the harbour mouth to prevent the rebels from escaping by sea and ensure they could not receive maritime aid, invaded Batavia in the Rhine delta, securing his rear against Carausius's Frankish allies. However, it was impossible to mount an invasion of Britain. Carausius, in power for seven years, was assassinated by his subordinate Allectus, who assumed command. Three years in 296, the reconquest of Britain began. With Maximian holding the Rhine frontier, Constantius divided his fleet into several divisions, he led one division himself from Bononia. They set sail in poor weather, but fog allowed Asclepiodotus's ships to pass Allectus's fleet, stationed at the Isle of Wight, unseen, they burned their ships. The rebels were forced to retreat from the coast, but in doing so, fell into the hands of another division and were routed. Allectus himself was killed in the battle, having removed all insignia in the hope that his body would not be identified.
Archaeology suggests. A group of Roman troops, separated from the main body by the fog during the channel crossing, caught up with the remnants of Allectus's men Franks, at Londinium, massacred them. Constantius himself, it seems, did not reach Britain until it was all over, the panegyrist claims he was welcomed by the Britons as a liberator. At some point following the island's recovery by the Empire, the Diocletian Reforms were introduced: Britain as a whole became the Diocese of the Britains under the administration of the Prefecture of the Gauls based in Augusta Treverorum and was divided from two provinces into four or five. Carausius, Allectus and Constantius appear in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae in distorted guise, as rulers of Britain. Here, Carausius is a native Briton who persuades the Romans to give him a naval command, uses that to overthrow the king of Britain, Bassianus, or Caracalla; the Romans send Allectus with three legions to remove him, but Allectus proves an oppressive ruler, Asclepiodotus, here a duke of Cornwall, leads a popular uprising to depose him.
He defeats Allectus near London, besieges his last legion in the city. The Romans surrender on the condition they are allowed safe passage out of Britain, which Asclepiodotus grants, but his allies the Venedoti behead them and throw their heads in the river Gallobroc. Ten years Asclepiodotus is deposed by Coel, duke of Colchester, for his part in the persecution of Christians under Diocletian; the Romans send Constantius to negotiate with him. Coel agrees to pay tribute to Rome and gives Constantius his daughter Helena in marriage, upon his death Constantius becomes the new king of Britain. Casey, P. J.. Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780203974353. Clayson, Alan. "Ahead of his time: Carausius was a pirate, a rebel and the first ruler of a unified Britain". The Independent. Retrieved 10 July 2014. Vagi, David. "Coins document revolt of Carausius". Coin World. Retrieved 10 July 2014
Crisis of the Third Century
The Crisis of the Third Century known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis, was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into Roman territory. The crisis began with the assassination of Emperor Severus Alexander by his own troops in 235; this initiated a 50-year period during which there were at least 26 claimants to the title of emperor prominent Roman army generals, who assumed imperial power over all or part of the Empire. The same number of men became accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor during this period and so became legitimate emperors. By 268, the empire had split into three competing states: the Gallic Empire, including the Roman provinces of Gaul and Hispania. Aurelian reunited the empire; the crisis resulted in such profound changes in the empire's institutions, economic life and religion, that it is seen by most historians as defining the transition between the historical periods of classical antiquity and late antiquity.
After the Roman Empire had been stabilised once again after the turmoil of the Year of the Five Emperors in the reign of Septimius Severus, the Severan dynasty lost more and more control. Septimius Severus raised the pay of legionaries, gave substantial donativum to the troops; the large and ongoing increase in military expenditure caused problems for all of his successors. His son Caracalla raised the annual pay and lavished many benefits on the army, in accordance with the advice of his father to keep their loyalty, considered dividing the Empire into eastern and western sectors with his brother Geta to reduce the conflict in their co-rule; the situation of the Roman Empire became dire in 235. Many Roman legions had been defeated during a previous campaign against Germanic peoples raiding across the borders, while the emperor Severus Alexander had been focused on the dangers from the Sassanid Empire. Leading his troops the emperor resorted to diplomacy and accepting tribute to pacify the Germanic chieftains rather than military conquest.
According to Herodian this cost Severus Alexander the respect of his troops, who may have felt that more severe punishment was required for the tribes that had intruded on Rome's territory. The troops assassinated Severus Alexander and proclaimed the new emperor to be Maximinus Thrax, commander of one of the legions present. Maximinus was the first of the barracks emperors – rulers who were elevated by the troops without having any political experience, a supporting faction, distinguished ancestors, or a legitimate claim to the imperial throne; as their rule rested on military might and generalship, they operated as warlords reliant on the army to maintain power. Maximinus continued the campaigns in Germania but struggled to exert his authority over the whole empire; the Senate was displeased at having to accept a peasant as Emperor. This precipitated the chaotic Year of the Six Emperors during which all of the original claimants were killed: in 238 a revolt broke out in Africa led by Gordian I and Gordian II, soon supported by the Roman Senate, but this was defeated with Gordian II killed and Gordian I committing suicide.
The Senate, fearing Imperial wrath, raised two of their own as co-Emperors and Balbinus with Gordian I's grandson Gordian III as Caesar. Maximinus marched on Rome but was assassinated by his Legio II Parthica, subsequently Pupienus and Balbinus were murdered by the Praetorian Guard. In the following years, numerous generals of the Roman army fought each other for control of the empire and neglected their duties of defending it from invasion. There were frequent raids across the Rhine and Danube frontier by foreign tribes, including the Carpians, Goths and Alamanni, attacks from Sassanids in the east. Climate changes and a sea level rise disrupted the agriculture of what is now the Low Countries, forcing tribes residing in the region to migrate into Roman lands. Further disruption arose in 251; this plague caused large-scale death weakening the empire. The situation was worsened in 260. Throughout the period, numerous usurpers claimed the imperial throne. In the absence of a strong central authority, the empire broke into three competing states.
The Roman provinces of Gaul and Hispania broke off to form the Gallic Empire in 260. The eastern provinces of Syria and Aegyptus became independent as the Palmyrene Empire in 267; the remaining provinces, centred on Italy, stayed under a single ruler but now faced threats on every side. An invasion of Macedonia and Greece by Goths, displaced from their lands on the Black Sea, was defeated by emperor Claudius II Gothicus at the Battle of Naissus in 268 or 269. Historians see this victory as the turning point of the crisis. In its aftermath, a series of tough, energetic barracks emperors were able to reassert central authority. Further victories by Claudius Gothicus drove back the Alamanni and recovered
The English Channel called the Channel, is the body of water that separates Southern England from northern France and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the busiest shipping area in the world, it is about 560 km long and varies in width from 240 km at its widest to 33.3 km in the Strait of Dover. It is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe, covering an area of some 75,000 km2; until the 18th century, the English Channel had no fixed name either in French. It was never defined as a political border, the names were more or less descriptive, it was not considered as the property of a nation. Before the development of the modern nations, British scholars often referred to it as "Gaulish" and French scholars as "British" or "English"; the name "English Channel" has been used since the early 18th century originating from the designation Engelse Kanaal in Dutch sea maps from the 16th century onwards. In modern Dutch, however, it is known as Het Kanaal.
It has been known as the "British Channel" or the "British Sea". It was called Oceanus Britannicus by the 2nd-century geographer Ptolemy; the same name is used on an Italian map of about 1450, which gives the alternative name of canalites Anglie—possibly the first recorded use of the "Channel" designation. The Anglo-Saxon texts call it Sūð-sǣ as opposed to Norð-sǣ; the common word channel was first recorded in Middle English in the 13th century and was borrowed from Old French chanel, variant form of chenel "canal". The French name la Manche has been in use since at least the 17th century; the name is said to refer to the Channel's sleeve shape. Folk etymology has derived it from a Celtic word meaning channel, the source of the name for the Minch in Scotland, but this name was never mentioned before the 17th century, French and British sources of that time are clear about its etymology; the name in Breton means "Breton Sea", its Cornish name means "British Sea". The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the English Channel as follows: The IHO defines the southwestern limit of the North Sea as "a line joining the Walde Lighthouse and Leathercoat Point".
The Walde Lighthouse is 6 km east of Calais, Leathercoat Point is at the north end of St Margaret's Bay, Kent. The Strait of Dover, at the Channel's eastern end, is its narrowest point, while its widest point lies between Lyme Bay and the Gulf of Saint Malo, near its midpoint, it is shallow, with an average depth of about 120 m at its widest part, reducing to a depth of about 45 m between Dover and Calais. Eastwards from there the adjoining North Sea reduces to about 26 m in the Broad Fourteens where it lies over the watershed of the former land bridge between East Anglia and the Low Countries, it reaches a maximum depth of 180 m in the submerged valley of Hurd's Deep, 48 km west-northwest of Guernsey. The eastern region along the French coast between Cherbourg and the mouth of the Seine river at Le Havre is referred to as the Bay of the Seine. There are several major islands in the Channel, the most notable being the Isle of Wight off the English coast, the Channel Islands, British Crown dependencies off the coast of France.
The coastline on the French shore, is indented. The Cotentin Peninsula in France juts out into the Channel, whilst on the English side there is a small parallel strait known as the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the mainland; the Celtic Sea is to the west of the Channel. The Channel acts as a funnel that amplifies the tidal range from less than a metre as observed at sea to more than 6 metres as observed in the Channel Islands, the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula and the north coast of Brittany; the time difference of about six hours between high water at the eastern and western limits of the Channel is indicative of the tidal range being amplified further by resonance. In the UK Shipping Forecast the Channel is divided into the following areas, from the east: Dover Wight Portland Plymouth The Channel is of geologically recent origin, having been dry land for most of the Pleistocene period. Before the Devensian glaciation and Ireland were part of continental Europe, linked by an unbroken Weald-Artois Anticline, a ridge that acted as a natural dam holding back a large freshwater pro-glacial lake in the Doggerland region, now submerged under the North Sea.
During this period the North Sea and all of the British Isles were covered by ice. The lake was fed by meltwater from the Baltic and from the Caledonian and Scandinavian ice sheets that joined to the north, blocking its exit; the sea level was about 120 m lower. Between 450,000 and 180,000 years ago, at least two catastrophic glacial lake outburst floods breached the Weald–Artois anticline; the first flood would have lasted for several months, releasing as much as one million cubic metres of water per second. The flood started with large but localized waterfalls over the ridge, which excav