West Bay, formerly known as Bridport Harbour, is situated just a couple of miles from the inland town of Bridport, which was the major rope-making industry of Britain. The harbour can be traced back to the 13th century, when sluices were erected across the mouth of the River Brit to form a navigable entrance.Ships were built here during the Napoleonic Wars of 1799 to 1850, but ship-building eventually ceased as wooden ships were phased out. The coming of rail in the late 1800's saw a decline in the use of the harbour, and at that time was re-named West Bay. However, maritime buildings and houses expanded the hamlet and the harbour was used for import and export until the 1960's. Fishing still continues today and is also a tourist attraction as a holiday destination, as well as being part of the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage site.
These first daytime photos were taken some time ago, around 2000/1, whilst on a day out with some friends. Since then, the harbour has seen some changes. Recent work has replaced the west pier and rebuilt the east pier, extending the harbour with a new slip way and outer harbour.
The following photos were taken during a further visit in October 2009. After a ride around various places with a visiting friend, we ended up in West Bay at the end of the afternoon. After a leisurely pint at the harbour pub, we had a walk around the harbour and took photos just as the sun was setting and night drew in.
More photos from both visits can be seen in the Photo Gallery album along with these.