Comment about Fossil Sand Ripples in Devonian Rocks, Porlock, Somerset
The man made cave you remark on to the West of Porlock Weir was constructed as a boat house for the Lovelace (now lytton) estate who used to have a large house in the woods approximately 1/4 mile above the Toll house. The house was amazing but as with many other fine houses it was demolished in the 1960's. Tunnels and terraces surrounded the house many Italian in style, these designs following Lord Lovelaces visits to the country. A path led through the woods, over the bridge you walked beneath on your way to Culbone Church and on to the boathouse. It was probably not much of a success as this part of the coast can be downright unfriendly at times! Anyway in the 1950's and 60's the local 'trips around the bay skippers' christened it 'smugglers cottage' the local name is Rockford cottage.
The large house mentioned above was known locally as 'Ashley Combe House'there were a number of tunnels leading to the house which were apparently constructed by prisoners from the Nepoleonic war. During and for a while after WW2 the house was used for some years as a Dr Barnardo's home after which it fell into neglect and was eventually demolished and I understand the tunnels blocked up at the same time.
John Pollard, Hamilton. New Zealand Sun 15th May 2011
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