The Turners of Kirleatham and the Lowthers of Wilton were in dispute over the anchorage and groundage of the medieval port of Coatham where coal, lime and building materials were landed and cereals exported. From 1666 the Turners held the rights along the coast from Redcar to Cargo Fleet. In 1777 Sir James Lowther had a bank built to enclose Coatham West Marsh. He spent £60,000 0n an earth embankment covered in sods, this would have greatly reduced the Turners income from shipping dues. When the work was almost complete he refused to pay the workmen, who left without applying the top covering to the bank. Consequently the next big storm broke down the bank and destroyed the work.

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