Brean Down


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

And a herd of National Trust goats.

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

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