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handsome one of its kind. The tower was a very fine
one, and was to be restored exactly as before. He was
told that the very unusual circular window over the en-
trance door was modern.

The Rev. T. Hugo, in reply to a question, said this was
never the conventual church of Taunton Priory,

The Vicar (Rev. W. T. Redfern) mentioned that in the
old parish registers (which were openly exhibited) there
were entries of persons buried who had been executed
for treason, and of marriages in the time of the Common-
wealth, which appeared to have been performed by a
justice of the peace.

At the Canon Street corner of St. James^ Street atten-
tion was paid to some old almshouses, whose date was
generally supposed to be that of Henry VII., but by
some much earlier.

The Rev. T. Hugo led to the site of the ancient Priory,
and showed the only remains of it in the dilapidated
structure, now apparently used as a barn. Since the
Dissolution, three centuries ago, the ground had been
opened over and over again for the purpose of getting
stone. In several of the houses in Canon Street, close

* A paper on the Priory, by the Rev. T. Hugo, witli some engravings,
will be found in Vol. IX. of the Society's Proceedings.



THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL. 25

by, there were pieces of stone, doubtless coming from the
ancient Priory. He believed that every bit of stonework
in the " chapel," as it was called, was an insertion, with
the exception of the doorway. The windows on the east
side were modern. He had been told that in the last cen-
tury, at the time of the French wars, the building was
appropriated to the use of some French people here for
religious worship, and had therefore been called " the
chapel."

The next centre of attraction was

These fine old premises, now used no longer for their
original purpose, are occupied by the Middle Schools.

Mr. W. A. Jones stated that the school was built by
Bishop Fox, as the Lord of the Manor, in the early part
of the reign of Henry VIH., and endowed by William
Walbee, whose will was proved in the reign of Queen
Mary. At one time the roof of the school-room was
open, but is now plastered in. The dormitories are now
adapted as a chapel for the school services.

Mr. J. H. Parker, C.B., said the school was a good
example of its time, and was in a very genuine state.
The old roof remained perfect, and there were very few
such. It was the simple Late Perpendicular style.



The Annual Dinner took place at the London Hotel.
The president gave one toast, "The Queen," remarking
that it was their privilege to be subjects of a lineal descen-
dant of Ingild, the brother of the founder of this town.



VOL. XVIIL, 1872, PART I.



26 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING,

was held in the Castle Hall.

gnc'^ut dS^ocjrajjIit) of tliij WiBi of in^taiul

Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins, F.E.S., delivered an able ad-
dress on this subject, of which the following is an abstract.

The submarine forest exposed between the tide-marks
on the coast of West Somerset has long been known.
That portion of it visible at Porlock was described in 1839
by Sir Henry de la Beche, and more recently by Mr.
Godwin- Austen in an essay read before the Geological
Society in 1865. It was shown by the latter to be rooted
on " an angular detritus," and to be overlaid by the fol-
lowing deposits : —

1. A blue freshwater-mud deposit, resulting, probably,
from the depression of the land.

2. A surface of plant-growth (Iris).

3. A marine silt with Scrohicularia jiij^erata.

4. Shingle that forms a ridge which is at the present
time encroaching on the level water-meadows behind.

The physical changes manifested by the section he in-
terprets thus : — The accumulation of angular detritus, in
which the trees ai^e rooted, belongs to subaerial conditions,
which were in operation while the boulder-clay of the
centre and north of Britain was falling from the melting
icebergs. This was followed by the epoch of the growth
of the forest and of the accumulation of vegetable
matter. The overlying blue clay marks the time during
which the trees were killed ; the surface of marsh-growth
covered with /m, marks the epoch when the trees fell ;
the Scrobicularia-c\ay indicates a depression below the sea-



ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY OF WEST OF ENGLAND. 27

level ] and, lastly, the clay was elevated and the shingle
thrown up on the surface to form the barrier at high-
water mark.

Mr. Godwin-Austen's valuable essay recalled to mind
a worked flint that I had found in the angular detritus
in 1861. On its re-examination I found that it had been
chipped by the hand of man. In the autumn of 1869,
the Kev. H. H. Winwood and myself resolved to verify
the discovery by a thorough examination of the forest-bed.
On digging through the layer of undisturbed vegetable
matter, we met with ample traces of man's handiwork in
flint and chert chippings, and in one very well-formed flake
which, apparently, had never been used. They were em-
bedded in the upper ferruginous portion of the angular
detritus, and evidently had been dropped upon the surface-
soil of the period, and not transported by water. On
searching the shingle we found only one water-worn flint-
pebble, which, possibly, may have been washed out of the
angular detritus ; it is therefore probable that the pre-
sence of flint and chert in that neighbourhood is owing to
their transport by man.

Encouraged by these results, we resolved to explore the
submarine forest in the nearest bay to the east close to
Minehead. It there consists of oak, ash, alder, and hazel,
which grew on a blue clay, full of rootlets, that thickens
considerably seawards. The blue clay in its lower part is
full of angular fragments of Devonian rocks, which, as at
Porlock, constitute a land wash, and not a shingle. At the
point between tides, where the angular fragments began
to appear, the flint chippings were found. The exact
spot where we dug was to the east of the little stream that
enters the sea between Minehead and Warren farm, and
close to a large stump that is generally exposed at one-



28 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

third tides, about 200 yards from the shore and 50 from a
line of posts for nets. The splinters, which, as at Porlock,
clearly had been struck off by the hand of man in the
manufacture of some tool, consisted of flint and chert, the
latter of which was derived from the greensand of Black-
down, on the borders of Devonshire. They were em-
bedded in a ferruginous band as at Porlock, and occurred
as deep as one foot from the surface of the bed. We dug
in several other spots without finding any other traces of
man's presence.

In both these localities it is clear that man had been
living on the old land-surface, and that the remains of his
handiwork had been dropped in the angular detritus which
Mr. Godwin- Austen believes to be subaerial and glacial.

These fragments of submerged forest are mere scraps,
spared by the waves, of an ancient growth of oak, ash,
and yewj that is found everywhere underneath the peat
or alluvium in the Somersetshire levels. At Porlock
Quay, on the west, it dips under the fresh water and
marine strata that have been described, at high-water
mark, and is stripped of its supra-jacent deposits from the
line of half-tide down to low water. Opposite the pre-
cipitous headland of North Hill it has not yet been found.
At Minehead it reappears under the same conditions as
at Porlock, and thence it is represented in an easterly
direction by several patches, visible at extreme low water
as far as Stolford, where the angular detritus rest on the
Liassic reefs. Then it passes under the alluvium of Stert
Point, at the mouth of the river Parret, to join the large
forest that lies buried in the basins of the Axe, the Tone,
the Parret, and the Yeo. At VA' eston-super-Mare it can
be seen under the alluvium. Throughout this wide area
the trees have been utterly destroyed by the growth of



ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY OF WEST OF ENGLAND. 29

peat, or by the deposits of the floods, except at a few
isolated spots, which stand at a higher level than usual, in
the great flats extending between the Polden Hills and
the Quantocks. One of these oases, a little distance to the
west of Middlezoy, is termed the Oaks, because those
trees form a marked contrast to the prevailing elms and
willows of the district. In the neighbouring ditches that
gradually cut into the peat and then into silt, prostrate
oak trees are very abundant. As we approach the river
Parret the silt gradually increases in thickness, until, at
Borough Bridge, the forest is struck at a depth of 18 feet
below the present surface, or about the same distance
below the line of high-water mark in the river.

The destruction of the forest seems to have been brought
about by the stagnation of water consequent on the de-
posit of silt in the rivers, by which their beds were raised
until the surrounding district became flooded ; then the
peat grew and gradually changed the surface into a spongy
morass, in which the trees died, and, as the latter decayed,
they were blown down, the lines of their trunks pointing
away from the prevalent winds. But while this was going
on, the rivers were depositing silt in quantities greatest at
the line where their currents impinged on the slack water,
and gradually reaching a minimum in passing away from
their courses ; and in this way the fertile alluvium of the
vales of Taunton, Bridgwater, Highbridge, and Weston-
super-Mare was deposited, while around Shapwick the
peat comes up to the surface, and attains a depth of at
least 16 feet.

The conditions, therefore, under which the forest at
Porlock Quay and Minehead was destroyed are not merely
confined to those isolated spots, but are constant over the
whole of the Somerset levels. If, then, we can approxi-



30 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

mately fix the date of the destruction of the forest, we
have a clue to the antiquity of the traces of man found
in the land-surface underneath. And this we are able to
do by the discoveries, made by the late Mr. Stradling at
the bottom of the peat, in the great marsh that extends
from Highbridge to Glastonbury. From time to time,
between the years 1830 and 1851, he obtained sundry
flints, celts, and spear-heads of the neolithic type, a bronze
celt, and three paddles from the top of the sub-turbary
marl. A large canoe also, formed out of an immense oak,
and known as " Squire Phippen's big ship,"" made its
appearance in dry seasons, and eventually was broken up
for firewood by the cottagers. It is clear, therefore, that
at least as early as the neolithic age the forest beneath the
turbary has been destroyed, and its area occupied by a
stagnant morass. The latest date, therefore, which we
can assign to the traces of man in the submerged land-
surface at Porlock and Minehead is an early stage in the
neolithic period. The discovery of Bos longifrons, or
small domestic ox, in the same forest-surface near Barn-
staple, fixes the date as not older than the neolithic age,
because that animal was unknown in Europe before.

So far as I know, no cases are on record of the occur-
rence of traces of man underneath any other submarine
forest on the shores of Britain. They do not add to our
knowledge of primeval man, or extend his range further
than we already know into the past ; they merely prove
that he dwelt in the district probably before and possibly
during the growth of the forest, and before those physical
changes began to be felt by which its destruction and
submergence were brought about — changes of great mag-
nitude and probably of long duration.

In closing, Mr, Dawkins asked why some one among



ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY OF WEST OF ENGLAND. 31

them did not take the trouble to examine the evidence re-
lative to " the levels " of the county, to the enclosure of
these great flat stretches of morass and alluvium ? AVhy
should we be ignorant of the history of the making of the
dykes, and of the relation which the ancient forest of
Somersetshire bore to the cultivated lands in the periods
embraced by history"? In answer to a gentleman, he said he
did not think that the remains found in the caves in this
neighbourhood and in the gravels all round the coast were
of the same age as this forest-surface, but that they be-
longed to the age of extinct mammalia, or the pleistocene,
of which the characteristic woolly rhinoceros had been dis-
covered in dio-o-ino; the foundations of Taunton Gaol, and
the mammoth by Sir A. A. Hood, at St. Audries.

General Munbee thought that the subject was one of
the very greatest possible importance to this county, and
to science in general. It represented the subsidence of
our land, and also the existence of submerged forest all
round England. Their thanks were very greatly due to
the gentleman who had been good enough to bring for-
ward the notice, and it would be exceedingly advisable
that this very interesting subject should be followed out
more intimately. The whole of the immediate alluvial
districts were in a great measure below the level of high-
water mark, at all events. He suggested that a committee
be formed to pursue investigations such as had been indi-
cated, and take levels in such directions as they might
choose, and by the next year record what they had been
able to do.

Mr. Charles Moore said there was one point upon
which he was a little sceptical, although he perfectly
agreed with Mr. Dawkins in the whole of his interesting
address ; it was Mr. Dawkins^ correlation of the turbaries



32 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

inland with the forest-beds which surround the coast. It
seemed to him that Mr. Dawkins depended very much
upon the work which Mr. Stradling did in former times.
They all knew Mr. Stradling in the early days of the
Association, and the earnestness with which he worked;
but in his day the points connected with the introduction
of man upon the earth had not sprung up, and he did not
think that the observations of Mr. Stradling were suffi-
ciently devoted to those points for him to be a great
authority in connection with this matter. It was true
Mr. Stradling examined very carefully the work done at
the turbaries, but none of the finished implements found in
them had ever been found in connection with a forest-bed.

Some further remarks were made by the Kev. Thos.
Hugo, Mr. E. B. Tylor, and the President, when

Mr. E. A. Freeman, D.C.L., read a paper on " King
Ine," which is given in Part 11., p. 1.

The President remarked that when they got so much
light upon the life of a person who lived in such remote
times when there were so few contemporary records, it
showed what could be done in that way. On the very
borders of Somersetshire and Devonshire, at a place where
there was no natural boundary to the county, there was
a rampart stretching for some distance across the hill,
where there could be no cause for it. That, very likely,
might be some record of the inroad of the Saxons.

Mr. Buckley remarked that there was one place where
the memory of Ine was still retained, and his name was
mentioned every day. In the monastery at Rome, which
sheltered St. Augustine before he came on his mission to
Britain, there was still a tablet recording that in that
monastery was a hospital which had been founded for
English pilgrims, first by the liberality of Ine, and secondly



FIRST EXCURSION — QUARRY AT HESTERCOMBE. 33

by the munificence of an English merchant. His name
was mentioned there every day in the Mass.

Cordial votes of thanks having been passed to Mr,
Dawkins and Mr, Freeman, the evening^s proceedings were
concluded.



A large party left Taunton in the morning on an ex-
cursion, the first place visited being a

^uarrji in i\n ^\[omuh at lt[st^i|C0m!rij»

Mr. W. A. Jones pointed out the junction of the
Syenite with the Devonian rock.

Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins, F.E.S., mounted an eminence
and explained the composition of the great mass of igneous
rocks on which he stood. It belonged to the crystalline
division — the order of rocks poured out through active
volcanoes. It was not of considerable extent, and oc-
cupied a space between the Devonian stratified rocks of
the country. The Devonian rocks were very much
twisted and crumpled about, and that could only have
been induced by enormous exertion from below. First
of all, during the time these Devonian I'ocks were crumpled
and twisted and contorted, there were certain fissures made
in them, and subsequently the molten matter from below was
forced upwards through the broken fissures to occupy the
cool space. It had been baked, and looked as if it had been
put into a smelter^s oven. It was usual to call it Syenite,
but he was not altogether satisfied that it was Syenite.
It seemed rather to be allied to the class of volcanic rocks
to which basalt belonged, and which were found largely in
the Mendip Hills.

vol. XVIII., 1872, PART I. e



34 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

Mr. W. A. Jones said that the rock first became
known in 1814. The Secretary of the Geological Society
found accidentally at Cheddon a rock which led him to
make the enquiry. They had evidence of the quarry
having been opened and worked extensively, for in taking
down the old towers of St. Mary^s and St. James^ at
Taunton great masses of the rock were found built into
them. Ten years ago he heard a story from a labourer
there to the effect that his master (Mr. Warre) had gone
to a barber's shop in London, and noticed the barber with
considerable delight sharpening his razor on a hone, which
he was told upon enquiry came from a place called Hester-
combe down in the country. He understood that it
was frequently used as a hone-stone. In reply to the
President, as to whether he found the rock radiating from
any central mass, or any linear expansion, he replied that
no other junction had been found. Some of the same
character of rock was, he believed, found near Wrington,
and the Malvern Hills were igneous rocks, of very much
the same character. On behalf of the Committee he ac-
knowledged the courtesy of Mr. Knollys and Mr. Parsons,
the agents of Lord Ashburton and Lord Portman, for the
facilities they had given for the examination of the rocks
and the inspection of the gi'ounds.

Mr. R. K. M. King read the following extracts relating
to this rock from Corner's Geological Survey : —

The rocks of this district differ in mineralogical character,
but the different varieties graduate so insensibly into each
other, that they may be considered as one common formation.
A large portion have the structure of sandstones, the com-
ponent parts varying in size from that of mustard seed to
such a degree of fineness that the particles can with difficulty
be discerned.



1100914

FIRST EXCURSION— QUARRY AT HESTERCOMBE. 35

Quartz and clay are the essential component parts of all the
varieties, but in different proj)ortions. _ The quartz, in some
instances, prevails, to the entire exclusion of any other
ingredient forming a granular quartz rock. The coarse
varieties have abundance of quartz, but clay is the principal
ingredient of the slaty kinds. They have all an internal
stratified structure, which is less apparent in those of a coarse
grain, but becomes more distinct as the texture becomes finer,
and at last the rock graduates into a fine grained slate,
divisible into laminae as thin as paper, and having the smooth
silky feel and shining surface of the clay slate of a primary
country. Alternation of the fine-grained slaty varieties with
those of the coarsest structure in many successive strata, and
without any regularity of position, are of constant occurrence,
and frequently without any gradation of one structure into
another. In some instances portions of slate are contained in
the coarse-grained varieties. Scales of mica are frequent,
and they all contain oxide of iron, and to the different states
of this oxide their various colours are, no doubt, to be ascribed.
The prevailing colours are reddish brown, and greenish grey,
and there are m.any intermediate shades and mixtures of these
colours. Some of the slaty varities are of a purplish hue,
occasionally spotted with green. I did not discover a trace
of any organic body in either variety, but in many places
great beds of limestone, full of madrepores, are contained in
the slate, the limestone and slate towards the external part of
the beds being inter-stratified. Veins of quartz, which are
often of great magnitude, are of constant occurrence, being
sometimes accompanied by calcareous spar and ferriferous
carbonate of lime. Veins of sulphate of barytes are not un-
common. The layers composed of quartz, chlorite, and
ferriferous carbonate of lime are often interposed between the
strata of slate, and pyrites is sometimes disseminated through
the mass of the rock. Copper in the state of sulphurate and
malachite and veins of hematite are frequently found, and



36 TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING.

nests of copper ore of considerable magnitude have been
found in tbe subordinate beds of limestone.

I shall call this series of rocks a Grauwache Formation.

As the ends of the inclined slaty strata rise to the surface
they become either vertical or are very much twisted, with a
succession of sharp angular bendings and a fracture at every
angle. The most remarkable instances of these contortions are
to be seen in the lanes between Enmore and West Monkton,
and in the other roads which cross the south-eastern ridges of
the Quantock Hills, and at Ads borough and the lane leading
to Tarr, near Kingston, where they are covered by horizontal
beds of red argillaceous sandstone and conglomerate.

Near Ely Grreen, in the side of the combe called Dibbles
and in the neighbourhood of Cheddon Fitzpaine, I observed
a variety of slate, differing considerably in appearance from
any I met with in the district. It is of a blueish green colour,
apparently derived from chlorite, with purplish stains, and
including small spherical masses of a white earthy texture,
which give to the mass an amygdaloide structure. It may be
considered as a variety of argillaceous slate, and as it occurs
in strata conform^-ble with the usual varieties of the grauwacke
formation, it belongs, I have no doubt, to the same class. It
is found very useful as a fire stone.

In passing through Cheddon Eitzpaine I found granite,
called by the country people, "Pottle stone," in situ, and
whetstone. The last was a greenish compact stone, very like
some iron stones. The granite is small grained, and consists
of dull, flesh-coloured fellspar, with green mica and a small
quantity of quartz.

Within a few yards of the granite the inclination of the
strata is about 35 degrees, but as it approaches nearer to it
the angle increases to 63 degrees.

The granite as it approaches the slate is much finer grained,
and at the contact there is an indistinct blending of the two,
and there is an appearance of fragments of slate united by a
granitic cement.



FIKST EXCURSION — DIGRESSION ON COAL. 37

The Rev. H. H. Winwood said the question had been
asked whether the Quantocks were old red sandstone or
Devonian, The latter were divided into lower, middle,
and upper, and at the base of all was a coarse sandstone.
The Quantocks represented the middle Devonian division,
consisting of red sandstone and slate. It remained for an
energetic scientific man like the President to bore through
the red sandstone, and find what was below — perhaps the
black mineral, which was now so valuable.

The President said that in the neighbourhood of Bur-
lescombe and Holcombe Kogus there were some very thin
carboniferous bits, and it was not at all impossible that
still further south, working-beds might be found ; but it
was not a favourable symptom that the marine equivalents
of the carboniferous formation were very well known, and
showed no indications of workable coal. It was very
possible that at a time long before the upheaving of the
Mendips they might have been covered with coal, and
that it might have been extended into the Bridgwater
level and some distance west. The chance of finding; coal
was remote, and pregnant with a great deal of cost; and
looking at the uncarboniferous state of Devonshire it would
be very doubtful whether it would be found in a workable
state. So, until more was known about it, landowners
would not sink a great deal of money in boring, when
they could spend it in improving their estates.

Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins said the first thing to betaken
into consideration was the cost of boring for coal. As one
of the originators of the borings in Sussex he said that the



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