Mulberry Harbour construction site, Hayling Island

Hayling Island and Langstone Harbour were used as a site for the construction of components of the Mulberry Harbours. These artificial harbours were created by the Allies to enable them to land their forces in Normandy more rapidly than could be done directly onto the beaches.

A key part of the Mulberry Harbours was the outer breakwater. To create the breakwater, old ships and concrete Phoenix caissons were sunk in lines to create the breakwater. The Phoenixes were large concrete structures, with hollow chambers inside. They could be floated in order to move them, but when water was let into the internal chambers they would sink onto the sea bottom.

Phoenixes were constructed on the coast of Hayling Island, on the stretch of beach at the harbour entrance. Once built, the Phoenixes were sunk nearby until they were needed. One of the Phoenixes developed a fault and could not be used: it remains there to this day, on a sandbank in Langstone Harbour.

Langstone Harbour was also used as a base for many landing craft and barges before D-Day.

AddressFerry Road, Hayling Island, Hampshire PO11, UK
CountyHampshire
Location typeOther
AccessPublic Access
Site Ownership and Access InformationMost of the shoreline of Langstone Harbour is open to the public, including the section of beach on Hayling Island where the Mulberry Harbour components were build.
Contact detailsSee Langstone Harbour Board website

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