Tuesday, 19 May 2015

OGMORE-BY-SEA AND SOUTHERNDOWN



Ogmore-by-Sea lies at the mouth of the River Ogmore, an interesting estuary for birdwatchers who may spot egrets or kingfishers.  Bathers, however, should beware: the proximity of the estuary makes bathing unsafe from the nearby beach, although good bathing places are found further along.  There are large caves by the mouth of the river, which is where the village gets its name, 'og' being the Welsh word for cave.  Fossils are also present in the ancient sedimentary rocks along the shore, and many are clearly visible to fossil hunters.  This stretch of coast, which forms part of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, has been a hotspot for shipwrecks over the years, as the west facing shore is regularly battered by fierce gales coming in from the Atlantic.  A particular flashpoint is Tusker Rock, a dangerous reef which is submerged at high tide.  A short walk along the estuary to the Ewenny River, which flows into the Ogmore, leads to Ogmore Castle, a ruined Norman Castle originally erected by the Londres family in the early 12th century.

Those who have been following my sister blog, Britain On Page And Screen, will already have encountered the neighbouring Southerndown Beach, which has been used several times in the filming of Dr Who, most memorably in the heartbreaking scene where the Doctor says goodbye to Rose and disappears before her eyes. The beach, which forms part of Dunraven Bay, was meant to represent a Norwegian beach called Bad Wolf Bay.  It is popular with surfers and at low tide there is a large expanse of sand and pools. There used to be a castle on the headland to the south, albeit a relatively new one.  Dunraven Castle, which was built in 1803 but demolished just 160 years later, was used as a Red Cross hospital during the two World Wars.

File:Mouth of River Ogmore, Ogmore-by-Sea, Wales - geograph.org.uk - 90093.jpg
Mouth of the River Ogmore. Photo by John Goodall, via Wikimedia  Commons

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