At first glance, the small harbour at Beadnell looks as if it has had some sort of fortification added to it at some point in the past. However, the large tower-like structures are actually lime kilns, the earliest of which was built in 1789. The kilns were used for heating up limestone to make lime, which was used as a soil improver. After this practice died out, a new use was found for them: curing herrings. Nowadays they act as a handy storage area for the local fishermen’s lobster pots. Another historic building in the village which was a type of tower called a ‘pele tower’, dating from the 16th century, is now part of the Craster Arms Hotel. An even earlier structure lies at Ebb’s Neuk Point to the east of the harbour: the remains of a 13th century chapel. The original chapel was reputedly built in the 7th century by Oswald, King of Northumbria, for his sister St Ebba. The parish church, originating from the 18th century, is also named after St Ebba.
Beadnell Bay is a lovely horseshoe-shaped expanse of sand backed by dunes with crabs on hand for the kids to toy with and a colony of terns. A couple of years ago, the beauty of this stretch of coastline came to the attention of the promoters of Canadian tourism who decided to use an image of it in an advertisement for Alberta, all the more bizarre given the fact that Alberta is a landlocked province!
Map of the area.