© Le Jules Gommès | © Musée Maritime De Regnéville Cd50

Regnéville port traffic in the 19th century

REGNÉVILLE PORT TRAFFIC IN THE 19TH CENTURY

The maritime traffic from the harbour in Regnéville was intense from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century, as an entry and departure route for merchandise in the area around Coutances. Despite a reputation for difficult access, being shallow and the risks of running aground at low tide, Regnéville harbour compensated the lack of large ships with the arrival and departure of numerous smaller vessels.

A maritime traffic that evolved from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century

From the Middle Ages, Regnéville saw ever increasing maritime traffic. Despite this, from the 13th century, the dry port suffered its first access problems when the larger ships were sometimes obliged to unload some of their cargo on the island of Chausey.

 

1850 to 1900 : the last burst of port activity

The lime and exportation of products from inland, opened new coastal shipping routes and around 1850, the port saw a rise in activity up to the beginning of the 1900’s.

A brutal and irreversible decline in the 20th century

There are multiple causes of the decline of the port. The natural silting up of the estuary was no longer compensated by the extraction of grit and sand for agriculture. In a climate of declining regional maritime commerce the port of Granville with its wet dock, inexorably drew traffic away from the dry harbour of Regnéville. Sailors from Agon, Blainville or Regnéville embarked on large fishing vessels in Granville or large international commercial maritime ports in France such as Bordeaux or Le Havre.

 

>> Why could large ships no longer access the port of Regnéville ?
Answer : Because even at high tide, the water level was no longer high enough to allow them to float.