Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

The first beach that I visited on my recent trip to Ireland was near the small village of Annestown in County Waterford. It is part of the Copper Coast Geopark, and I wish I had known at the time that the Geopark website offers informative trail guides and an audio podcast to guide visitors on a walk around this particular area, starting at that very beach.

I was immediately struck by how different the rocks in the cliff are from anything I have seen before, and the pebbles on the windy and surf-washed shore have their own unique character. A sign-board in the car-park explains that the rocks in this location are extremely old, mostly dating from the Ordovician Period, resulting from ocean-bed volcanic eruptions at a time when the land which is now Ireland was formed near the South Pole between 460 and 450 million years ago. Movements of the earth’s crustal plates over vast eons of time have caused the land to gradually migrate northwards to its current position.

In amongst the pebbles of volcanic origin and Ordovician age are others from sources further along the coast and also, no doubt, pebbles derived from the deposits of clay, boulders, and sand that were dumped over the land surface at the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago as the ice melted, and which can be seen today as a yellow-brownish layer on top of the cliffs.

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

Pebbles on a Copper Coast beach

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014

All Rights Reserved

6 Replies to “Pebbles at Annestown”

  1. Even more fascinating for me Jessica, as its somewhere I’ve been and photographed. I wish I could contrive to get you to visit some other places I’ve been!

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  2. I’m pleased you like the pictures. You must compile a list of places that you think I should visit when I visit Ireland again. I will definitely be coming back.

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  3. Hard to know where to start Jessica, and almost anywhere will have its points of interest. Given your interest in geology, the west and north coasts would be good, and the antrim coast is particularly good for fossils I’m told. Your base and time available would be key considerations, but if you get me started, I’ll be hard to stop!

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  4. When we start to plan the next trip, your local knowledge will help us to decide on the essential places to spend time. For the moment, we are considering the Dingle Peninsula because so many people are telling us how beautiful it is. And, of course, there is a tremendous promotion of Ireland and the “Wild Atlantic Way” from Cork to Connemara, on the television and in the weekend papers – probably making the most of the publicity and interest generated by the recent State Visit of the Irish President to England, the Houses of Parliament and the Queen.

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