Thursday, 14 March 2013
Boundaries of "The Wash"
The boundaries of Boston have been continuously transforming throughout history and these physical changes are directly related to the social and economic demographics of the region. The image below maps out the position of the coastline and the series of islands that were located around Boston during Roman times. A record of human history is held in the sands around these islands but the constantly changing silt levels makes it difficult to recover any of these artifacts before they are once more covered. The peat like ground found within the estuary is known to contain various wrecks and Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman settlements.
From the 12th century Boston was a key trading point for the Hanseatic League who were a trading alliance from Germany. This led to the area of the Wash becoming known as the large arm of the German sea. It was the change of boundaries as a result of the river Witham becoming too shallow that led to the demise of Boston as a medieval port. Wreckage's and artifacts from this trading period are know to lay in the Witham and with the new boundaries to be created by new tidal defenses they will be accessible for the first time.
The boundary change will have a significant effect on the amount of waterways accessible to leisure activities. The movement of the commercial sector to beyond the existing port will give new deep water access but also greater opportunity to explore the waterways. The more land that is reclaimed the more segregation there has been between local people and eastern European immigrants in the last decade. This raises the question as to whether or not an architectural intervention could become a interchange for social exchange and integration within this new boundary as well as all the other practical needs mentioned.