Village News

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1900 | Effects seen at Carbis Bay during gusty E.N.E. winds , dst rising to at least 240 ft

aeolian deposits are most strongly developed on the northern coast, where 
large areas are permanently cut off from the operations of the plough. 
The most considerable of these fronts St. Ives Bay, forming the Lelant, 
Phillack, Upton, Gwithian and Godrevy towans. Another extensive 
tract constitutes the Perran Sands, and isolated patches continue as far as 
Newquay. Further to the north the solid rocks forming the promontory 
of Trevose Head are severed by the towans extending from Constantine 
Bay to Perleze Bay, and opposite Padstow a tract of sandhills extends from 
St. Michael to the Dunbar. Smaller patches occur at Gunwalloe and 
along the southern coast. 

These accumulations of sand are mainly composed of finely com- 
minuted sea shells, such as form our shelly beaches, and have been 
largely utilized in Cornwall for enriching the soil by the lime con- 
tained in their composition. The sandhills now occupying such ex- 
tensive tracts rest on the solid rocks and have been formed by the beach 
detritus driven landwards by the wind. The sands, ever on the move, 
have piled up deposits which have overwhelmed ancient buildings, the 
most noted instances of which are the old churches of Perranzabuloe, 
St. Enodoc and St. Constantine. The spread of these sand drifts is con- 
siderably checked by the vegetation which they support, but the dunes 
are continually receiving fresh accession of material by the windborne 
sand from the coast, which is blown considerably beyond their limits. 

Mr. Clement Reid, F.R.S., has described other effects seen at Carbis 
Bay during gusty E.N.E. winds in the year 1 900, from a height of 270 feet 
above the sea, where swirls and puffs of dust were observed to rise from 
the flat at the entrance of the Red river to a height of at least 240 feet, 
blotting out Godrevy towans and Godrevy lighthouse, and then spreading 
in a well defined belt across St. Ives Bay for over 3 miles in the direction 
of St. Ives Head, which it must have passed. He suggested that the 
dust, largely composed of the river-mud, might account for some local 
falls of ' red rain.' 1 
1 Nature, Ixv. 414. 


The Victoria history of the county of Cornwall. Edited by William Page"