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



NextPrevious

Ashlett

Tides and tools
Overview





Ashlett Creek is situated on the south coast of England, on the western shore and the seaward end of Southampton Water. It is a natural tidal creek with a small settlement that offers shallow vessels the option of a drying out alongside its sailing club pontoon or old quay.

Located within the largely protected Southampton Water and dry for the majority of the tidal cycle Ashlett Creek offers complete protection. Although The Solent is very well marked and straightforward Ashlett and its approaches require careful navigation in daylight to work the tides and to follow its marks in.
Please note

Ashlett Creek is the reserve of moderately sized and shallow drafted vessels that are free to schedule an entrance or exit around high water.




Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Ashlett
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsQuick and easy access from open waterScenic 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
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 5 or more from NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthMore suitable or draughts of 1m or less

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
-3.4 metres (-11.15 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
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 attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesBerth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsQuick and easy access from open waterScenic 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
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 5 or more from NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthMore suitable or draughts of 1m or less



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

50° 49.704' N, 001° 20.205' W

This is the outer end of the Ashlett Sailing Club pontoon.

What is the initial fix?

The following Ahlett Creek Entrance will set up a final approach:
50° 49.900' N, 001° 19.330' W
This is set on the 5 metre contour about 300 metres southward of the south end if Fawley Marine Terminal.


What are the key points of the approach?

The entry and the run-up thorough The Solent and Southampton Water are covered in
The Solent and Isle of Wight Route location coastal description.

  • Careful planning is required to ensure that sufficient water is available to enter the creek.

  • From the entrance buoys follow the well-marked entrance channel in.

  • When closing on the club pontoon two marked channels will be seen. Use the channel closest to the pontoon as the outer channel, although still marked, has silted up.



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 Ashlett for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Hamble Point Marina - 1.1 miles NE
  2. Warsash Sailing Club - 1.1 miles NE
  3. Hamble River Harbour Master - 1.1 miles NE
  4. Netley - 1.1 miles N
  5. Port Hamble Marina - 1.3 miles NNE
  6. Mercury Yacht Harbour - 1.7 miles NNE
  7. Universal Marina - 1.8 miles NNE
  8. Swanwick Marina - 2.1 miles NNE
  9. Elephant Boatyard - 2.2 miles NNE
  10. Deacons Marina and Boatyard - 2.2 miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Hamble Point Marina - 1.1 miles NE
  2. Warsash Sailing Club - 1.1 miles NE
  3. Hamble River Harbour Master - 1.1 miles NE
  4. Netley - 1.1 miles N
  5. Port Hamble Marina - 1.3 miles NNE
  6. Mercury Yacht Harbour - 1.7 miles NNE
  7. Universal Marina - 1.8 miles NNE
  8. Swanwick Marina - 2.1 miles NNE
  9. Elephant Boatyard - 2.2 miles NNE
  10. Deacons Marina and Boatyard - 2.2 miles NNE
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?


Ashlett Creek is a small settlement on the western shore of Southampton Water to the south of the oil refinery, fronted by Fawley Marine Terminal, and to the north of Fawley Power Station. It is a natural creek that has a small and very pretty harbour at its head associated with its former and well-preserved tide mill. Adjacent to the mill is the popular ‘Jolly Sailor’ public house, a few dwellings and a sailing club.

The harbour and its ½ mile long channel dry and are only accessible at the top half of the tide. The club pontoon dries to 3.4 metres and old Victoria Quay, by the mill, dries to about the same. This makes Ashlett Creek the reserve of the moderate draft vessel that can take to the bottom. A fair expectation of the water to the found on the club pontoon on a Neaps high is of 0.76 of a metre (2.5 feet), and a Springs high of 1.16 (3.8 feet). Vessels with a draft of 1 metre or more will also find manoeuvrability within the creek challenging with any tidal height of less than 4.0 metres. It is also very small and the club will only receive vessels up to 10.4 metres (34 feet) which would be the top end of its capability. The area does however have the benefit of the double high water so that most vessels have from about 1 hour before the first HW through to 1 hour after second HW.




The club pontoon is usually free but it is advisable to make arrangements in advance and especially so for visiting clubs or associations. Contact with Ian Graham on +44 7890 690 976 or E- mail grahi@talktalk.net The town quay is a public authority facility that is free to use as available.


Convergance Point The Solent and Isle of Wight Route location coastal description provides approach details. Vessels will find nothing in the way of local hazards by staying in reasonable soundings and following The Solent’s ample marks.




Initial fix location The initial fix is set on the 5 metres contour about 300 metres southward of the south end of Fawley Marine Terminal which makes a conspicuous sea mark for many miles. This is immediately outside the entrance to the creek that is marked by small port and starboard buoys which should be apparent from this point. Once identified, and sufficient water has been determined, it is a simple matter of following the creek’s meandering channel up to its head.




Navigation of the approach channel is simply a matter of following the provided navigation marks in. It is essential to keep to the marks, not to cut any of them. The mud is soft but the sides of the creek are quite steep.
Please note

During 2014/15 the channel altered, particularly on the approaches to the harbour, which means that currently available charts cannot be relied upon. Those who have been here previously should expect to use a different path especially in the final approaches.



The entrance’s small port and starboard buoys lead into a starboard buoy locally known as the ‘turning buoy’ that marks a bend to starboard in the channel. Once this is passed turn to pick up by closely spaced buoys, port and starboard perches,‘whities’ as they are locally known, and follow them all the way in. They are at this point unmistakable closely spaced and the channel to the club pontoon is less than 400 metres.




As the Ashlett Sailing club pontoon is approached two channels present themselves. One close to the pontoon, one further out. It is absolutely essential to choose the marked channel nearest to the pontoon. The outer, and ‘old channel’ that meandered around a bank, has silted up in the past few years.
Please note

This choice is essential, because if the older outer channel is taken the vessel will most likely ground.







Haven location The Ashlett Sailing club pontoon is situated on the southern side, port side, of the mouth of the harbour. They welcome visitors on the southern side of the pontoon, and request visitor’s to try and get up along the pontoon as far as possible. The club accepts catamarans provided space is available and other visitors are not obstructed.




The pontoon has a flat rate, irrespective of length, of £4 for a short stay or £12 overnight with water and power included. Please pay a committee member in the club house or if no one can be found deposit the fee, with a note of boat name / dates berthed, in the secure facility adjacent to the entrance to the male toilet / shower.
Please note

Those intending on a short stay should be prepared to move with haste after second high water as the entire pontoon dries very quickly. Vessels staying over should also take care to check the height of the tide they wish to exit upon to avoid being ‘neaped’ on the pontoon if the height of the tides are reducing.






Those visiting the ‘Jolly Sailor’ should moor to the piles on the, often slightly submerged, concrete Victoria Quay at the head of the creek. The quay is a tongue of open area which projects into the head of the Creek, creating a slipway to the north and a small drying mooring area to the south. This is a public quay with no facilities and usually attracts no charges.


Why visit here?
The name 'Ashlett' comes from the conjunction of the commonly used ‘ash’ meaning ‘ash tree wood or clearing’ with 'flete' meaning ‘creek or stretch of salt water’.
Many believe the name stems from a Viking custom of planting an ash stave in the ground where their longboats first land. The ‘hard’ at the top of the creek would have certainly provided the Vikings with a good place to launch small boats. It went on to serve as a landing area through the centuries for which road transport remained difficult here. The first written record of the area is in the 1086 Domesday Book where it was noted as being part of the Manor of Fawley held by the Bishop of Winchester. It is believed likely that the Creek’s capability for mooring and launching boats was used throughout the medieval period. There is little or no documentary references to this use but historic bollards found near the head of the creek date back to this period.




The Creek’s most dominating feature has to be its substantial five storey brick mill. The well preserved Grade II listed mill has a stone set into its south wall with ‘1816’ and the initials 'T.B. ’. These are the initials of Thomas Barney, of Beaulieu, who was a merchant, a salt maker and a miller. He owned the mill along with Ashlett’s saltworks and saltings during the early part of the nineteenth century. But the 1816 date however only refers to the present mill that was a reconstruction of an earlier mill that stood on the same man-made causeway. For this building was by no means the first mill in Ashlett and the tradition of milling runs deep here.


Ashlett’s earliest reference to a mill dates back to 1241. These were noted in the estate bequeathed by Eva de Clinton, the widow of a Norman knight and owner of Cadeland Manor, to the Abbot of Titchfield. The record detailed the transfer "of all the manor of Cadeland with mills and all its appurtenances" and a later reciprocal confirmation of ".. the aforesaid lands, possessions, mills, salt pans, court and all appurtenances" was also found. The next reference to an Ashlett Creek mill comes from much later in 1605. This was in the Winchester Bishopric Pipe Roll of Fawley that records that "Nicholas Lambert pays a rent of five shillings for one corn mill." This record ties into subsequent rent rolls that directly refer to a ‘quit’ rent of five shillings for Ashlett Mill. So milling in Ashlett would have been carried out continuously for about 700 years.


But milling was not the Creek’s first industry, rather it was salt production that goes back much further. Ashlett was a saltern site as early as the Anglo-Saxon period. By the late post medieval period its sea salt, in addition to the other sites surrounding the New Forrest, was exported all over the world. The Fawley Parish Register of 1687 provides the earliest documentary reference to Ashlett’s salterns. It records a payment of two shillings to Thomas Flight of Ashlett Mill “for ye saltern”. The first edition of the Ordnance Survey map in 1810 shows two salterns in Ashlett. The primary saltern, which was a substantial saltern by any measure, was ‘Bound’s Saltern’ located to the north of the Creek and east of the tide-mill pond. The second saltern was to the south of the Creek where the sailing club’s dinghy park is situated today. Then after countless centuries the salt trade was to fall into terminal decline in the middle of the 19th century. This was due to an abundance of cheap imported salt and the development of the salt mines in Cheshire. Before that, in 1830, it was recorded that the canny Thomas Barney had sold the mill, as well as his two nearby saltworks and saltings.




Corn milling became Ashlett's principal industry after the decline of salt making . Ashlett's mill was a tide-mill, utilising its mill pond, located to the north of the mill, to retain the flood tide. After a good head of water had been impounded, the outgoing water turned the mill wheels. Ashlett’s mill had two water wheels and two sets of milling equipment, which enabled maximum use of the ebb tide period. Tidal mills were expensive to build, but the power was constant and reliable even though they could only operate for a limited amount of every tidal day. It was nevertheless hard work and lead to millers having to work odd hours to synchronise with the tidal cycle.


Flat bottomed sailing barges of 100 to 150 tons likewise worked the tides to bring corn to be milled and to carry away the flour. It is thought that these barges were handled by as little as two men and a boy who could negotiate the creek with relative ease. To make the loading and unloading of the barges more efficient, as well as to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, Victoria Quay was constructed in 1887. By providing a link and trade with the agricultural hinterland and encouraging fishing the quay added further economic impetus to the creek. But time and technology caught up with the tide mill in the 20th century when corn could be more conveniently and economically milled by electrically or engine driven machinery. The mill continued in operation until about 1910 when it finally ceased. Likewise the road network developed and the last great sailing barge came to Victoria Quay in 1932.




The pretty red brick ‘Jolly Sailor’ alongside the mill dates from the late 18th century. It was originally a beer house in the days when anyone who paid the poor rate and the two pound excise fee could sell beer. The Martin family were landlords for several generations. Now, along with the facilities of the mill, it has become a firm favourite of 20th & 21st century sailors who have come to inherit the Creek and have turned it into a recreational sailing centre.

From a sailing point of view Ashlett is the reserve of the shallow, moderately sized cruising vessel. But it is the embodiment of the unique cruising opportunities that these vessels offer. Sandwiched in a most unlikely position, between the industrial complexes of the power station to the south and the refinery to the north, is this perfect little enclave of the unhurried past.

Bounded and shrouded by deep hedges and tall trees, and dotted with a handful of buildings three of which are listed as being of special architectural or historic interest, this is truly a beautiful place. With the wonderful 19th century mill and quay providing its dominant focal points, it offers a rare vista over a Solent waterside hamlet of the last century. It is a place to sit back and take ones time, to enjoy it all to the theme of the water running through the mill’s sluice, as it has done so for the best part of a millennium.


What facilities are available?
The club pontoon has power and water. Shower and toilet facilities, via key code, are available in the adjacent club building. The club has a slip and there is a public slip alongside the tide mill.

The Mill is open 7 days a week and serves food around lunch time. The Jolly Sailor pub has been bought by two keen cooks and may also be serving food. Basic provisions can be found at Fawley village’s convenience store, about 15 minutes’ walk up the hill. A newsagents, post office and take away will also be found here. Blackfield Service station, approximately 2 miles or 35 min walk, has the nearest fuel.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occured to a vessel at Ashlett.


With thanks to:
Marion Shirley S/Y East Breeze, Southampton. Tony Firth, Port Solent Yacht Club. Keith Guy-Gibbons Moorings Master and Ian Graham Berthing Master of Ashlett Sailing Club. Photography Michael Harpur.


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.

























































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.