Finding “Great Long Dole” – maps of the fort area, old and new

The old Victoria History of the County of Suffolk, on the landscape near Felixstowe Roman fort, refers to a close known as “Great Long Dole”, which apparently bore that name in 1907.  This gave no results in Google.  Fortunately the old Ordinance Survey maps are online (although for some peculiar reason the new ones are not).  This provides illuminating information, including the location of said “Long Dole”.

Here is the survey from 1880, published 1886:

1880 map of the area around the fort

And here is the 1938 survey, published ca. 1949:

1938 Ordinance Survey map of the area near Walton Castle

Great Long Dole is no longer marked – the name must have become obsolete – but Brackenbury Barracks have appeared, and the Cliff Road.  Note also the stream, running onto the beach, near the castle ruins.  This must be the source for the “Dip”, where the stream cuts through the soft sand to reach the sea.

Via GeoHack I find other maps – I’m not used to the world of maps, of course, so I am getting whatever I can – and especially this from Defra:

Defra “magic map” for 51.972879; 1.379413

The barracks have vanished – this seems to be a contemporary map – and the whole area is now covered with houses.  But the outfall of the spring is still marked.  It’s now in a pipe running under the road.  But this spring is probably the water source for the garrison.  The location of the Roman fort need not be attended to, tho.  I believe that in fact they are about 30 metres offshore from that outfall!

I’ve also wondered whether aerial photography might show the ruins.  Surely it might!

Likewise… what about Lidar?  There are downloadable datasets, I know; although, mysteriously, I could find no online browser to see the data.  The nearest that I got was this, where the resolution is rubbish.  Yet Lidar datasets are available down to less than 1 metre, this I know.

Lidar image of the area

Is there something, just in front of the sea-front buildings?  Maybe there is; but at that resolution, where a house is just a block, who can tell?

Lidar is beyond my knowledge.  Googling is not producing anything very useful, although I did find this.  I might have a go at this a bit later.


5 thoughts on “Finding “Great Long Dole” – maps of the fort area, old and new

  1. As a geospatial professional, LiDAR can be tough to the uninitiated. A suggestion for a LiDAR viewer is QT reader. If the dataset is not too big, you can bring it on ArcGIS or ArcGIS Pro, though their LiDAR interface is counterintuitive. In graduate school we learned to Merrick MARS, but that costs $5,000 per license in the US, I do not know about UK pricing

  2. I’m getting nowhere with it, I must admit. The Environment Agency stuff is completely unintuitive – I can’t even work out what I can and can’t download. I will most likely have to abandon this and leave it to the professionals.

  3. Roger – you’ve collected some interesting material. I’d been looking at Walton Castle and found your ste useful. I’ve done a “LiDAR” image of the castle from the surfzone bathymetry which shows the walls (I can email it). The Great Long Dole appears to have been a path/road. It is mentioned in SIAH Volume XLII Part 3 (2011)_Felixstowe Roman fort J Fairclough_253 to 276. There are other “Long Doles” around the country – might be worth investigating. I hoped it might have been a wall but no such luck.

  4. Bob, that’s wonderful! Yes, please email me the Lidar thing (I’ve emailed separately). However did you do this? I tried, but couldn’t get anywhere. A step-by-step account would be useful if you have the time.

    Thank you so much for the reference for the Long Dole. It must be a dialect word, then.

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