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Sunday 29 October 2023

Pink tuff erratics from Baggy Point


The pink tuff erratic No 1  found on a wall S of  Croyde Hoe Farm (Photo:  Paul Madgett)

Thanks again to Paul Madgett for enhancing our knowledge of the erratic suite around Baggy Point, Croyde, Devon.  Below are some of his notes, which he has kindly allowed me to reproduce for the record.  Sorry if I have got confused over which erratic is which........ suffice to say that there are several!

You already have info on the "Epidiorite" found back in 1969 by my wife and I during her BSc field-
dragged by the farmer to the edge of the coastal path on N side of Baggy Pt. As you will probably recall from earlier correspondence, I tried a few years ago to re-locate this, without success, despite knowing a fairly precise location for it. My suspicion is that it has become buried under gorse plus ant-hill material.

Tuff erratic 2 on top of the wall (Photo:  Paul Madgett)

Photos of tuff erratic No 2, taken by Paul Madgett

A roughly "cubic" tuff erratic (2) spotted in the 1980s on the stone wall by a field-gate by the "top path" on the south side of Baggy Point, near Croyde Hoe Farm, had "disappeared" some years ago. However, in February this year I relocated it, just a short way from that gate. It would appear that someone a few years ago decided to topple it from the wall, and it had become buried in rank vegetation at the side of the path. In August 2022 an illicit barbecue had got out of control so that most of the vegetation on the southern slopes of Baggy, south of that farm-wall, had been completely burnt away - thus fortuitously re-exposing the missing erratic. I moved it back to the base of the wall by the gate, and informed the NT staff responsible for Baggy. Thus I include 3 recent photos of this erratic, to show its current position, size (my size 9 shoe for this!), and close-up of texture. In addition there is another photo taken in 2005, showing its position at that time, on the wall to the left of the gate.

There is (or was, but I haven't been able to relocate it this year) another tuff erratic (1) perched on this wall, around 200m or so to the east of the one referred to above. I initially spotted this around 30+ yrs ago. It has a pinkish colour, evident from the attached image, taken in the late 1990s.

In both cases, their shapes are inconsistent with having spent any time in a wave-dominated environment, hence I conclude that they were emplaced somewhere on Baggy close to their current positions, and presumably by an over-riding ice-sheet.

Patently their current positions are not "natural". My conjecture is that the farmer came across these while cultivating the adjacent field, and added them to his wall - possibly noting their difference from the local slates and sandstones? Mr Bagster, Croyde Hoe farmer before the NT took it over, certainly knew his local rocks and had a large collection of flint artefacts from his fields.

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