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Russian Hemp Bale Seals from

Bridport and Dorset with West Bay

(Bridport Harbour was renamed West Bay)

 (17 seals found to date with 0 seals awaiting upload as of 20th March 2019)

 

   

The main site was discovered by Ray Beer in 2019

 

  Bridport Town has been an important centre for the production of rope, twine, netting and sailcloth, from flax and hemp, from the 13th century. The earliest documentary evidence is a record of payment for a large quantity of sails and cordage in 1211, then an order from King John for Bridport rope and cloth to supply the navy in 1213. This order suggests that Bridport was already established in the area.
  A mile south of the town of Bridport is Bridport Harbour, (now West Bay) which was crucial to the economy of the town and still has a high proportion of its historic buildings. It was built with lots of warehouses and shipbuilding facilities, and stands on a very suitable position for the construction of an industrial harbour along a very exposed stretch of coastline. The development of the harbour in the mid-18th century fuelled a resurgence of the Bridport textile industry and a dramatic expansion of the town. By the early 19th century the larger textile firms occupied warehouses at the harbour and had ships built in the adjacent shipyard, supporting a worldwide trade in goods and raw materials. After thriving for several decades, the fortunes of the harbour and shipyard began to change following the extension of the Great Western Railway to Bridport in 1857. The addition of a local branch line to the harbour in 1884 heralded a period of transition that saw the closure of the shipyard and the renaming of Bridport Harbour as West Bay in a bid to encourage tourism. The harbour was no longer a major asset to the flax and hemp industry, but trade in coal, hemp and other commodities continued on a smaller scale until the mid-20th century.

 

 The most successful period for the flax and hemp trade was from the late 18th to the late 19th century. The relative prosperity of this period saw the construction of houses for the merchant classes and the rebuilding of many of the outworkers’ cottages. Some of the mill surrounding fields that require searching for seals are North Mill, Court Mills, Pymore Mill, Priory Mill, Folly Mill and Mangerton Mill. The surrounding district had hundreds of small wheel spinners for making twine for nets and several large rope walks for rope making.

 

 

Russian Lead Flax/Hemp Bale Seals from

Bridport Harbour & West Bay in Dorset

After the decline of the textile trade Bridport Harbour was renamed West Bay

to make it more acceptable as a tourist destination - it seems to have worked.

 

 

Lead Flax Bale Seals from Riga, Latvia

Dated late 18th century to early 19th century

 

Inspectors and Posts

for West Dorset

 

 

  No 26        1754  26

  Bazhenov.G   1800  80

  Dem'yanov.S  1792   1

  Ivanov.E     1805  75

  Kostin.M     1817  39

  Tamilin      1770 330

  Vavilov      1776 N24

  Vinnikov.I   1812  20

  Zems'koi     1775  51

 

 

 

Posts / Inspectors / #

for West Dorset

 

  1 S.Dem'yanov 1792#B1

 20 I.Vinnikov  1812#B1

N24 Vavilov     1776#B1

 26 No 26       IDS1218

 39 M.Kostin    1817#B1

 51 Zems'koi    1775#B1

 75 E.Ivanov    1805#B1

 80 G.Bazhenov  1800#B1

330 Tamilin     1770#B1

 

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

How the seals got

into the fields

 

The discarded stalks of the flax with

a bale seal still attached were highly

 prized as fertilizer by local farmers

and they were spread on to the land

mixed in human & animal excrement.

 

 

------------------

 

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

RigaX1

IDS 1613

+

Crossed Keys
1

blank

Riga
(1st Grade flax)

RigaX1

IDS 1614

+

Crossed Keys
1

blank

Riga
(1st Grade flax)

RigaX1

IDS 1615

+

Crossed Keys
1

blank

Riga
(1st Grade flax)

RigaX1

IDS 1616

X

Crossed Keys
2

blank

Riga
(2nd Grade flax)

 

 

 

 

 

 
Numbers Only Seals

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

IDS

1218

No 26

SPB

R:H

1754

26
post
(Rein hemp)

           
           
Archangel Seals

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

IDS

204

ДeCЯT

ДMИTPe  ШУЛГI

(SMITRE  SHULGIN)

APX.БP

KPOHЪ

2'CORTЪ

Я K 1859

ARKH.BR

KRON

2nd SORT (flax)

YaK 1859

IDS
1109

АРХ ПОР

(Archangel Port)
 ДЕСЯТЪ
ЛЕОНТИ ТВЕНЕВ

APX. БP
ЧЕСКА
2.COPTЪ
M.K. 1850

ARKH.BR
CHESKA
2nd SORT (flax)
M.K. 1850

           
           
St Petersburg Customs Tax Seals

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

IDS

263

C.Б.TA.OTP.TO

8 sided star - cross

1828

Blank

8*+

1  2  4  3

IDS

391

blank

Russian State

St Petersburg

Customs Seal

CAHKT

 ПETEPБПOT

1798

Ю T = Yu T

           
           
           
 

1770 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1770B1
IDS 1628

 Д.Г = DG
TAMИЛИHЬ
(TAMILIN)
H330

NP

DG12H

1770

330
post
(flax)

1775 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1775B1
IDS 1618

ДЛ = DL
ЗEMCЬKOИ:
(ZEMS'KOI)
H51

NP

ПC12H

1775

51
post
(flax)

 
1776 NP
#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1776B1
IDS1349

ДЛ = DL

ВАВИЛОВЬ

(VAVILOV)

N24

NP
IH12H

1786

24
post
(flax)

 
 

1792 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1792B1
IDS 1621

ЛД = LD

C.ДEMЬЯHOB

(S.DEM'YANOV)

H1

NP

EC12H

1792

1
post
(flax)

 

1800 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1800B1
IDS 1608

ЛД = LD

Г.БАЖЕНОВЪ

(G.BAZHENOV)

H80

NP

PB12K

1800

80
post
(flax)

 

1805 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1805B1
IDS 1610

ЛД = LD

Е.ИВАНОВЪ
(E.IVANOV)
H75

NP

AБ12H

1805

75
post
(flax)

 

1812 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1812B1
IDS 1617

ЛД = LD

И.ВИННИКОВ
(I.VINNIKOV)
H20

NP

OP9H

1812

20
post
(flax)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1817 NP

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

1817B1

ЛД = LD

М.КОСТИНЪ
(M.KOSTIN)
H39

NP

?????

1817

39
post
(flax)

 

 

 

 

 

 
           

 

 

 

 

 

 

   About PeaceHavens - This database is an ongoing project involving the daily finding and identification of Russian Lead Flax Bale Seals from the old disused 18th/19th century Flax Mills of the Industrial Revolution in the UK.    For many decades in the 18th & 19th centuries, Russia was by far the world's greatest exporter of these flax stems via Archangel, Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva, Pernau, Revel, Riga, St Petersburg, Tilsit, Windau and Great Britain was Russia's major customer. Every bale of flax stems was fastened together with a lead seal by a quality control inspector. The discarded stems of the flax with seals still attached were prized as fertilizer by local farmers and were spread onto the land mixed with night soil manure.

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