Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 3.djvu/349

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the Parret the distance between high and low water mark is in some places above two miles. From the town of Minehead there is a tract of low marsh land, extending eastward about four miles along the coast, and about a mile in breadth in most places from the sea to the base of the hills. Were it not for a bank of pebbles which the sea has thrown up on the beach, this land would be overflowed every tide; and this even now generally occurs when the tides are unusually high. A similar tract of marsh land occurs in Porlock Bay, which is equally protected by a very great shingle bank, divided into three terraces rising the one above the other, the highest part of the bank being not less than forty feet above low water mark. The pebbles, which all along the shore are of the same materials as the cliffs in the open part of Porlock Bay, are of various sizes, but they are in general flattened spheroids of about six inches in diameter; as they approach the cliffs at Hurstone Point, they become gradually less, and close to the cliffs, they are of the shape and size of a pigeon's egg, and nearly all alike.

Dunkery beacon is stated in the report of the Ordnance Trigonometrical Survey to be 1668 feet above the level of the sea, and, with the exception of Cawsand beacon, in the northern part of Dartmoor Forest, which is stated in the same report to be 1792 feet, is I believe, the highest land in the West of England.

Grabbist hill I found, by barometrical measurement, to be 906 feet above low water mark. The highest part of the ridge is immediately above the village of Wotton Courtney. I made use of Sir Henry Englefield's mountain barometer, and I have calculated the heights by the formula he gives.

North hill above Bratton, which appeared to me the highest part of that ridge, I found to be 824 feet above low water mark.