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View toward Chesil Beach

View toward Chesil Beach

Artist: Grimm, Samuel Hieronymus

Medium: Ink wash on paper

Date: 1790

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15537

Item number: f.193

Length: 18.2

Width: 25.9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

This scene shows Chesil Beach from the Portland Arms in Fortuneswell on the Isle of Portland. The beach extends from here for approx. 29 km to West Bay and is composed entirely of pebbles, which gradually decrease in size in the direction towards West Bay. One explanation for the phenomenon may be that long shore drift waves hit the beach at an angle and propel the beach material in the direction the waves are moving. Another explanation could be that the larger pebbles move more rapidly because of their larger surface area. It is said that night-fishermen can tell their exact position along the coast by the size of the stones at any point on the beach.

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