Sunderland Point, River Lune, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire
On the northern shoreline of the River Lune Estuary, where it exits into the wider Morecambe Bay, are these Salt Marches. At high tide they flood right up to the houses you can see above. This twice daily phenomena of tides make Sunderland Point rather unique. It is part of the mainland, not an island, but only assessable between tides.
To be strictly accurate, Sunderland Point is actually the tip of this peninsula. It is the village that holds the name of Sunderland.
I love this location both for its history and it natural beauty. Sea Birds, including lots of Waders feed on these marshes. As each tide arrives it drives the birds towards you, a great experience to witness.
But let me explain the history. Sunderland was developed into a coastal Port for the City of Lancaster which lies upstream on the Lune. It was thought that this would avoid ships having to navigate the tidal river, so speeding up turn round.. Here they could be beached and loaded or unloaded directly into carts at low water. The Harbour as such was built in the early 1700’s. Fortune didn’t favour Sunderland and before the end of that century the port was largely redundant.
A boat registered in Pool (Dorset) and a French named vessel both some way from home at Glasson Dock, Lancashire. Glasson Dock is a man made harbour off the River Lune estuary on the south east edge of Morecambe Bay. On the opposite shore is a very different port at Sunderland Point.
The Old Customs House and Quay now stand largely silent and very different from the time when this was the major port on the Lune. In those days (and I am talking 1700’s) sail boats were drawn up onto the shingle and unloaded and loaded at low tide directly into horse drawn carts……
Sunderland Point lies to the very west of a peninsula surrounded by salt marsh and even to-day visitors approaching from Lancaster need to heed the tides to avoid being cut off. So a peaceful place but also one that has a darker and humbling secret. The port was truly international and many boats came to and from the West Indies. Within the dunes overlooking the bay in a lonely location is the Grave of Samboo a cabin boy who died on reaching Sunderland Point around 1736.
The grave is old, and whilst not in any church yard, is still cared for with love by the locals and obviously not forgotten…..
It is also a reflection of times gone bye and a reminder that attitudes do change for the better.
So Samboo still rest’s in peace
And when the sun does go down there are few places as peaceful nor as beautiful as Morecambe Bay…………..
Lune Light, River Lune Estuary, Morecambe Bay
(For those who have eagle eyes this is the same location as the sunset posted on the 3rd March but taken some 15 minutes later)