Marine Archaeology

Drowned Forests

Around the Welsh coast legends abound of lands inundated by rising sea levels. Colwyn bay is no exception for example an old morfa (shore) is said to be marked by breaking waves some distance off shore. More tangible evidence of sea level rise can be found in the remains of submerged forests in the form of peat deposits and some times twigs. These are best seen at low water mark after a storm has moved overlying sand. These forests grew some 10000 thousand years ago when the northern aspect of Colwyn Bay would have been vastly different, an area low marsh land populated by birch forest.

Wreck Of The Rhos Neigr

At the western end of the Rhos on Sea break water is the wreck of a pleasure steamer the "Rhos Neigr". It was in 1908 while on a pleasure trip that it was struck by an object perhaps a baulk of timber. Although holed it managed to reach Rhos pier and discharge its passengers with out harm before sinking. The wreck and it’s paddle wheels were visible at low tide until recently but most of the remains have now disappeared. Also at this location and at some states of the tide a very strong turbulent current develops just off shore and is often marked by waves being deflected at right angles to the shore. It is fortunate that this is not a bathing beach it being far too stony.

World War 2 Air Crashes

During the Second World War several air crashes occurred in the Bay including a Spitfire crash landing on the beach, a Beau fighter ditching off shore and a Mosquito off Rhos Point with loss of all crew.

Fishing Weirs

The remains of several old fishing weirs can be seen at low water in the Rhos on Sea area. They can be recognised by the remains of the low walls that originally enclosed the traps. These devices trapped fish by stranding them in an enclosed area of the beach as the tide ebbed. They were remarkably productive to the extent that they became regulated by an 1861 Act of Parliament to control their proliferation and only those that could substantiate their existence before Magna Carta were allowed to continue. In the case of the Rhos Fynnach Weir its existence was held to predate Magna Carta and continued in use up to 1914.