England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Birdham Pool Marina

Tides and tools
Overview





Birdham Pool Marina is located deep within Chichester Harbour, which is situated on the south coast of England. It is reputed to be the oldest marina in England and accommodates two hundred and fifty boats in rural surroundings.

Set within the furthest recesses of the estuaries’ channels and within a lock, it is completely protected from all conditions. Chichester Harbour's channels are well marked making access straightforward night or day in most conditions but the final approaches to the marina can only be made on a sufficient rise of the tide.



Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Birdham Pool Marina
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWaste disposal bins availableMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: access via a channel with a lock or enclosed by a lockRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be chargedEntered over a sill at high water

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
July 17th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWaste disposal bins availableMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: access via a channel with a lock or enclosed by a lockRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be chargedEntered over a sill at high water



 +44 1243 512310      info@birdhampool.co.uk      Ch.80 [Birdham Pool Marina]
Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

50° 48.228' N, 000° 49.830' W

This is situated on the eastern side of the lockgate entrance.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the westbound Route location or eastbound Route location sequenced 'Selsey Bill to Start Point' coastal description. Use the Itchenor Click to view haven entry for the approaches to Chichester Harbour, directions for Chichester Channel and Dell Quay Click to view haven for the run up beyond Itchenor.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Birdham Pool Marina for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Chichester Marina - 0.1 miles ENE
  2. Dell Quay - 0.7 miles NNE
  3. Itchenor - 0.9 miles W
  4. Chalkdock Point - 1.1 miles W
  5. Bosham - 1.2 miles NW
  6. Pilsey Island - 1.8 miles W
  7. East Head - 2 miles WSW
  8. Thornham Marina - 2.3 miles WNW
  9. Sparkes Marina - 2.7 miles WSW
  10. Emsworth Yacht Harbour - 2.8 miles WNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Chichester Marina - 0.1 miles ENE
  2. Dell Quay - 0.7 miles NNE
  3. Itchenor - 0.9 miles W
  4. Chalkdock Point - 1.1 miles W
  5. Bosham - 1.2 miles NW
  6. Pilsey Island - 1.8 miles W
  7. East Head - 2 miles WSW
  8. Thornham Marina - 2.3 miles WNW
  9. Sparkes Marina - 2.7 miles WSW
  10. Emsworth Yacht Harbour - 2.8 miles WNW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



How to get in?


Birdham Pool Marina is a small rural marina with 249 pontoon berths located about 4½ miles within the entrance to Chichester Harbour. Situated on the site of a former tide mill pond on the east side of the shallow Chichester Lake, its position behind a lock gate means that final approaches will most likely require a rise to provide adequate draft for access. The marina is located within 3 miles of the cathedral city of Chichester.


The Itchenor Click to view haven entry provides approach details to Chichester Harbour and directions for the Chichester Channel to Itchenor. The direction for Dell Quay Click to view haven provide the details for the run up from Itchenor to the Birdham starboard pile.


The Lock at Birdham Pool Marina is operational three and half hours either side of Portsmouth High Water from 6.00 - 22.00 during the summer season. The maximum width of a vessel the lock can receive is 5.12 metres (16.8 ft.) and a length overall maximum of 15.85 metres. 1.2 metres is available over the sill at 3.5 hours from high tide and the maximum draft that can be accommodated is up to 2.2 metres; rise and berth availability dependant.

The marina is oversubscribed and it is always advisable to contact Birdham Pool Marina P: +44 1243 512 310 in advance to see if a berth can be made available.




Convergance Point The approach channel commences at Birdham Starboard mark, Fl 4 G10, that has a tidal gauge indicating the height of the water on the lock sill. From there the weaving channel is marked by closely spaced starboard marks. Entering vessels should venture no further than 3 metres out from the posts. Pass outgoing vessels port to port, pulling in closer to the marks where possible, and do not overtake unless specifically requested to do so by the lock keeper.




Haven location Contact the Lock keeper well in advance of arriving again to confirm the berth. VHF Channel 80 - call sign [Birdham Pool Marina] M: +44 7831 466815. Berth as directed by the lock keeper.




Why visit here?
Birdham Pool derives its name from the conjunction of bridd and hamm meaning ‘homestead or enclosure frequented by young birds'. This name has very slightly softened through the centuries and was first recorded as Bridham, in 683, and Brideham in the 1086 Doomsaday Book.

Birdham’s history however goes back much further than this with evidence of a prehistoric Bronze Age settlement in the area. It is believed that two Roman roads met at the present Bell Lane junction. One road led from there to Chichester Harbour and then on to Bosham via a ferry or a ford. In 683 various Parishes on the peninsula south of Chichester, including Birdham, were gifted by the Saxon king Caedwalla to St. Wilfred and it was in these records that Birdham received its first mention. The later Domesday Book recorded that the area had two fisheries and a mill.


The present Birdham Mill has nothing to do with this ancient Norman mill. This mill dates from 1768 and had two tidally operated water wheels. The flood tide was trapped in the pond and on the ebb, after a good head of water had been impounded, the outgoing water could turn the mill wheels for up to three and a half hours. Tidal mills were expensive to build, but the power was constant and reliable even though they could operate only for up to eight hours in every tidal day. But it was hard work and lead to miller working odd hours to synchronise with the tidal cycle.


In 1935 the long established milling family of Farne ceased operations and sold their house at Court Barn, the Mill and all its land to Captain H.R.S. Coldicott. In doing so they brought to an end the last tidal mill in Sussex. Coldicott enclosed the outer Mill Pool and built lock-gates into the wall to make a yacht basin for small boats. His marina opened in 1937 and it is now believed to be one of the earliest marinas in the country. The old mill building still stands with the lock beside it.


Between the locks of Birdham Pool and Chichester Marina, scarcely 100 metres from Birdham pool, is ‘Salterns Lock’ the lockgates of the disused Chichester Canal. In 1580 the Cicestrians, as the citizens of Chichester are known, petitioned the Crown to remedy the cities disadvantage of its distance from the sea. Dell Quay was its port at the time and mention was also made of the fact that there were neither storehouses nor a boarding house there. In response to the complaint, a 1585 act was passed that would allow the construction of a cut linking Chichester with the sea `to bring the port unto the city. But this ambitious project was not to be realised for another 250 years and would be a short lived success.


Work only began after a further 1818 act that would provide the grounds required for the ‘Portsmouth & Arundel Canal’. The canal was conceived in a time of hostilities with France and part of a larger scale plan to provide a secure inland canal route from London to Portsmouth. It was opened in 1823 allowing barges to travel safely and comparatively quickly from Portsmouth through Langstone and Chichester harbours to Birdham and then onto London. Larger vessels could spur off to Chichester, at Hunston, that unlike the rest of the canal was built large enough to carry boats of up to 100 tons. However before the entire route was completed the project was already doomed to failure.



The war with France had ended and larger and better ships meant that the coastal route was again the more convenient and cheaper option. Worse in 1846 the line from Brighton to Chichester was opened effectively obsoleting the greater part of the canal almost immediately. By 1847 the canal, apart from the Chichester section, had fallen into disuse. The trade in the section between Salterns Lock and the city of Chichester also dwindled and it was finally shut in 1906. The remains of the canal is now rather overgrown with stationary houseboats.


Today Birdham village is somewhat spread out with plenty of desirable harbour-side houses. Stunning harbour views make Birdham one of the more interesting places to walk around on the Manhood Peninsula - the flat expanse of land south of Chichester that pushes out into the sea at Selsey Bill. For a longer walk the Canal can be followed all the way to Chichester, and there is a pleasant circular walk up to Dell Quay passing through the wooded area of Salterns Copse.




The marina however is Birdham’s most notable feature. With the Old Mill building still standing next to the Lock and the traditional lock gates at its foot the 'Pool' still retains a handsome sense of antiquity. The marina ranks by many as not only the oldest but also the prettiest in the country. It is also a TransEurope Marina. Visitors who have a homeport belonging to the TransEurope Marinas network will have the benefit of a 50% discount off berthing fees for up to 5 days.


What facilities are available?
Electricity and water are available on all pontoons. Diesel and petrol are available from pumps situated at the Lock. Waste bins are provided behind the office block near the lock. The toilets, showers and launderette facilities are open 24/7 for berth holders. Wi-fi is provided free of charge to berth holders.

Birdham Pool is a popular and busy boatyard. There is a slipway which can take boats of up to 20 tonnes and a crane capable of lifting boats of up to 14 tonnes. The boatyard has many skilled craftsmen and engineers onsite that cater for most areas of boat maintenance and repair.

Buses operate every twenty minutes between Chichester Bus Station (South Street) located about 3½ miles from the marina. Chichester city provides fast trains to London Victoria station. Private aircraft may land at Goodwood Aerodrome five miles away from the marina.


Any security concerns?
Birdham Pool is positioned on its own private road and has CCTV surveillance cameras throughout the marina. The main parts of the marina are restricted by security gate access. The office is usually manned 7 days a week during office hours.


With thanks to:
Phil Walker Deputy Harbour Master Chichester Harbour. Photography by Michael Harpur and Rob Farrow.


Expand to new tab or fullscreen











































The following videos may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with Birdham Pool Marina.

The following video presents aerial views of the marina area.





A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.