GOODWIN SANDS, a dangerous line of shoals at the entrance to the Strait of Dover from the North Sea, about 6 m. from the Kent coast of England, from which they are separated by the anchorage of the Downs. For this they form a shelter. They are partly exposed at low water, but the sands are shifting, and in spite of Lights and bell-buoys the Goodwins are frequently the scene of wrecks, while attempts to erect a lighthouse or beacon have failed. Tradition finds in the Goodwins the remnant of an island called Lomea, which belonged to Earl Godwine in the first half of the 11th century, and was afterwards submerged, when the funds devoted to its protection were diverted to build the church steeple at Tenterden (q.v.). Four lightships mark the limits of the sands, and also signal by rockets to the lifeboat stations on the coast when any vessel is in distress on the sands. Perhaps the most terrible catastrophe recorded here was the wreck of thirteen ships of war during a great storm in November 1703.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)