The Seaweed Hut was once a familiar sight on Weston Shore. The Reverend George William Minns, vicar of Weston and an inquisitive archaeologist, gives us a detailed description of the structure and a brief historical summary in Papers and proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, volume 4, 1898-1903, pages 265-6:

It was erected by fishermen of the village and stands within a few feet of high water mark on the shore between Woolston and Netley. It covers an area about 25 feet by 14 feet. Piles driven into the ground protect the walls, and transverse beams of oak support the roof. It is composed of seaweed so closely matted together that the interior presents a smooth surface and is as impervious as a wall. The exterior is renewed from time to time by a few loads of seaweed which the fishermen pile on as required. The interior, which measures 18 feet by 10 feet, was used as a receptacle for spars and fishing gear in days when there was no road along the shore and such things could be deposited in safety. At present it serves mainly as a shelter and rendezvous for the village “salts”. The hut was also used for smuggling, kegs of spirits being deposited in the hut. It is marked on an Admiralty chart of Southampton Water dated 1783, but is of much more ancient origin. A photograph of the hut by H W Taunt of Oxford is published opposite page 265.

The hut was still being used in the early twentieth century, but by 1967 it had fallen into disrepair and was demolished by the council.

Seaweed Hut

Image Unavailable

Further reading:

Southampton Reflections, by Jim Barnes, p53. (HS/h)


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