Brean Down


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A great limestone scarp runs the breadth of Somerset, the Mendip Hills, famous for their karst landscape — the gorge at Cheddar and the caves at Wookey Hole.

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Where it meets the sea in the Bristol Channel, it takes the form of a 2km long peninsula beside the village of Brean, Brean Down, and 4km beyond that headland an island, Steep Holm.

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Brean Down stands 98m above the surrounding flat farmland and wetlands of the Somerset Levels, with views south to Brent Knoll, north over Weston-super-Mare bay, out over the Bristol channel to Wales and inland along the Mendip scarp.

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The Down was home to an iron-age hill fort and a Victorian coastal fort, later taken over for rocket and weapons research in the Second World War — a large concrete arrow directed bombers to one of the test sites.


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These days its main claim to fame is as the site of the often-proposed-but-never-got-very-far Severn Barrage, which could in theory generate 5% of the UK’s electricity.

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But at the moment it’s home only to a few people walking around the rocks and windswept rowans.

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And a herd of National Trust goats.

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Most of these were taken one day in february 2007. There are more photos under the Brean Down tag.

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