How are the Cinque Ports Suffering from Rising Sea Levels?
The Cinque Ports along the South East Coast of England, were originated during Henry ll reign in the 12th. Century, being first mentioned in the Royal Charter of 1155.
They were started with five ports: Dover, Sandwich, New Romney, Hythe and Hastings, originally to provide the Crown with a "ships service" of 57 ships, each with a crew of 21 men and a boy, for 15 days each year.
The main five Cinque Ports (pronounced SINK, not SANK) weren't always able to provide the needs of the King, so two more main ports were added - Rye and Winchelsea
The Cinque Ports reached the peak of their powers in the 13th Century, acting on many occasions for the King, but earning some disgrace by their acts of robbery, pillage and smuggling.
The cause of their decline however, was due to the coastline changes that were taking place; some ports were no longer navigable and in some cases actually landlocked.
Dover is now the only Head Port to retain an important Harbour. Much of Hastings was in the 13th century washed away by the sea.
New Romney is now about a mile and a half from the seafront
Hythe is still on the coast. However, although it is beside a broad bay, its natural harbour has been removed by centuries of silting.
Sandwich is now 3 km (2 miles) from the sea and no longer a port.
Rye stands approximately two miles from the open sea.
Winchelsea retains its medieval setting on a hill surrounded by largely empty marsh