Fording the Ore

Map showing Orford Ness, historical extent, an...
Map showing Orford Ness, historical extent, and sites of interest. Drawn by User:Jakew in Inkscape based on maps by English Nature. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My main objective in this trip to East Anglia was inaccessible by car.  I needed to be ferried across the water, and interesting water at that.  The gulls, the fishing boats, the salt air, the rise and fall of tide all point to this being the sea, but this is Orford, the crossing point of the River Ore and a strange crossing point at that.

The town has a long history but on the other side of the river there is no continuation of the settlement so why name the town after a crossing point?  And a ford at that?  Where is the road across the river?

The truth is that this is a strange and shifting landscape.  The land across the water is Orford Ness, a spit of shingle some 10 miles in length, which joins the mainland near Aldeburgh in the north.  There’ll be much more about this feature and its history in postings to come but the spit forms a barrier that forces the River Alde south in search of the sea, though just before Orford that river undergoes a name change to become the River Ore.  As you can see from the attached map the shape and extent of the spit changes regularly as the tides sculpt the shingle into new shapes.

So that water between me and my objective.  Alde? Ore? Sea?

No matter, it provides moorings for yachtsmen, a habitat for seabirds, rare vegetation (and free supplies of samphire), and of course a fantastic opportunity for a photographer.

APW_4381

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