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Seaton Sluice, Northumberland

Charlie's Garden, Seaton Sluice

Last Updated:

15 Aug 2023

Seaton Sluice, Northumberland

This is a

Rock formation, previously cultivated land

55.082391, -1.469591

Founded in 


Current status is


Designer (if known):


Now little more than a stump.

'Charlie’s Garden (sometimes spelled as Charley’s Garden) lies just off Collywell Bay Road in Seaton Sluice and is an isolated sandstone pinnacle which adopted its name from a local villager, Mr Charles Dockwray, who cultivated the top of it prior to the sea eroding the rocks between it and thereby separating it from the mainland.'

Other sources also state the name of the fella is Charles Docherty. It's also been the cause of ship wrecks. The vessel above was named Lily, and was a trawler which fell victim to the rock in 1911 thanks to harsh conditions.

Around half of Charlie's Garden was also demolished in the late 20th century as it became so unstable. Much of the central core had eroded and was close to collapsing.

Listing Description (if available)

The two maps above illustrate the Seaton Sluice area in the latter half of the 19th century. Charlie's Garden (spelt Charley's here) can be seen as a small outcrop of rock adjacent to the sands at the village. It appears to be much larger at this point. Charlie was reputed to have utilised the rock up until the 1850s, so not too long before the publication of this map.

The 1924 map presents a similar landscape. Very little has changed in Seaton Sluice apart from the addition of Clarence Terrace to the south of the settlement. Charley's Garden is very clearly shown on this map.


The caption reads: 'Driven ashore off the coast of Northumberland, the paddle trawler Lily was bumped (something) and (something) against a rock known as “Charlie’s Garden” and is now so badly damaged that she is expected to become a total wreck. The photograph shows the vessel after going aground and the curiously named rock. (Daily Mirror Photograph)'

Credit: 'Seaton Valley, Northumberland past & present' Facebook Group


Charlie's Garden in 2023


A second perspective of Charlie's Garden in 2023

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