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The view from Black Head
Head - volcanic rocks
From here you can view the rocky limestone landscape created
by massive volcanic activity millions of years ago.
hard to imagine, as you're doing this walk, that this area used to be 10
degrees south of the equator and was submerged under the sea.
Of course, we're talking a very long time ago when volcanoes could be found
on the seabed.
The rocks around Torquay are very broken-up and contorted by the movements
of the Earth’s crust which led to Europe being joined to Britain about 300
million years ago.
In Torquay, the land was formed largely of limestone which was originally
laid down on the seabed before emerging.
If you can picture the seascape off the east coast of Australia, and the
Great Barrier Reef, well that's what it used to be like here.
The Devonian seas were home to many species of fish, corals, brachiopods
and trilobites. Some of those corals can still be found in the sea off Torquay
today - hence the idea of naming this area The Coral Coast.
On this stretch of the Torquay coastline, you can see all
the tell-tale signs of volcanic activity - especially at Black Head, which
is composed of black basalt formed when the underwater volcanoes erupted
millions of years ago.
|Looking across to Hope's Nose
The land mass rose up out of the sea in quite a rapid
process some 290 million years ago.
The rocks seen here would then have been deep within a huge Alp-like mountain
chain running across the centre of what is now Europe.
So the rocks on this walk would have been deep down within these mountains.
Over time the mountains have been gradually eroded away.
The land mass started to move northwards, splitting
up into continents until finally forming the Earth as it it today - although
at this stage in the process, Britain was actually right in the middle of
a huge continental land mass called Pangaea.
So from being in a tropical sea during the Devonian period, Black Head would
have then been in the middle of a vast mountainous desert - about as far
from the ocean as it was possible to get!
Looking southwards from Black Head and the little coves next door, Brandy
Cove and Hope Cove, you can see the most northerly tip of geographic Torbay
- Hope's Nose, together with the Orestone, which stands in the sea all on
its own, just adrift of the mainland.
....the Bishop's Walk ends close to some houses where the footpath joins
Torquay's Marine Drive. From here you should cross the road and turn left
where you continue on a raised path alongside the Marine Drive.
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