THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click
HERE

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Green Bridge of Wales -- the beginning of the end?

Pics from Doug Reubens and Gareth Davies

 This has nothing to do with Stonehenge, bluestones or glaciers -- but since we enjoy talking of the forces of nature on this blog, this might be of interest.  Storm Ophelia has been causing some severe cliff falls in Pembrokeshire -- and one of the most spectacular rockfalls has been on the tip of the Green Bridge of Wales (one of the most famous arches in the British Isles).  These photos show the damage.

The outer "block" (which will become a stack when the arch goes) is now much reduced in size, and the state of near-equilibrium that existed there is gone.  Not sure how this will affect the stresses in the arch itself.  Depends how riddled with fractures it is.  Ironically, the compression on the arch may now be greater than it was before, so it may become stronger.......... we shall see........

As I write, Storm Brian is battering the coast, and lots of people are rushing down to the limestone cliffs and the Stack Rocks area with their cameras.........

I'm more interested in the submerged forest, and wonder if it will be exposed after this storm surge coinciding with spring tides.

 Pic: Beth McColl.  After the fall.........

Another photo, taken 22 Oct by Guy Candler.  It shows the fracture face in much more detail.  

POSTSCRIPT

We now know that the large fracture scar high up on the pillar is the result of the Storm Ophelia storm (16 October), and the lower (smaller) scar is the result of a second rockfall during Storm Brian on 21st October

10 comments:

TonyH said...

Cue for a certain Flanagan & Allen song?

Peter Dunn said...

No it isn't!

cysgodycastell said...

There is sort of mild link to Stonehenge in that everything has its time and erosion and decay happen all the time. What is happening at the Green Bridge is a reminder that we live in an ever naturally changing world.

I don't know any specifics about parts of Stonerhege being reimagined or rebuilt some decades ago but i would have preferred to have seen it in its natural and normal tumble downed state. As it is it has become a theme park all of its own and does now feel a sanitised place. The vast majority of other neolithic sites scattered around the countryside are subject to a natural decay process, Stonehenge shouldn't be any different.

I am not sure if i remember this accurately but on a visit to the Cheesewring(s) on Bodmin Moor in the 1980's i am sure i recall it was secured by rusting metal spikes to stop it toppling over. I feel a little aggreived that it is not allowed to just fall over when its time comes. There must have been lots of other cheesewrings that have been and gone, one more collapsing is no different to any of these others. That is the natural order of things.

The point being that everything has its time.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Gets even more interesting -- it now appears that the upper rockfall occurred in Storm Ophelia, and the one at the base of the pillar occurred in Storm Brian, 5 days later.

cysgodycastell said...

There are reports of other storms coming in. I wonder if aomeone is setting up a camera?

TonyH said...

MPP is welcome to use this remote possibility: WHAT IF such Pembrokeshire Rock Arches inspired the mighty proto - Welsh inhabitants of SW Wales to build megalithic structures such as Pentre Ifan and the trilithons ot Stonehenge, and wherever that was before its wholesale dismantling and reconsructoin, IKEA -style, on the edge of little old Salisbury Plain, 170 miles away, as the Neolithic/ Bronze Age crow flew??

MUST be a possibility, if one's imagination is vivid enough to cope with this.

TonyH said...

[Acknowledgements to Paul Simon and his song 'Cecilia']

Ophelia, you're breaking my arch,
You're shaking my confidence daily
Ophelia, I'm begging you please....

TonyH said...

Just seen film footage of a ferocious storm at Portleven, Cornwall, dated October 17th. Is there not a very large coastal erratic there? It's called the Giant's Rock.

TonyH said...

This Facebook site has some marvellous nature photographs, including the recent damage to the Green Bridge on October 20th:-

https://www.facebook.com/mypembrokeshire

greenbean said...

we put together a timelapse video of photos before and after the storms..

https://www.facebook.com/PembrokeshireCoast/posts/1432597370171232