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Blackgang Chine, Isle of Wight

Historical Description

Blackgang Chine, a grand chasm on the S coast of the Isle of Wight, down the seaward face of St Catherine's Hill, 5½ miles W of Ventnor. The crest of the hill above it is 769 feet high, and the precipices on its flanks are in some parts 400 feet deep. It commences in two large, separate, convergent fissures; it then goes down in a deep, declivitous, crumbling gorge; and it terminates by flinging a tiny streamlet over a precipice of 40 feet upon the beach. The shore below it is strewn with massive fragments of fallen rock; the whole chasm is so black, naked, shattered, and profound as to strike the mind with awe; and it flings back from the vibrations of even a light gale a reverberating sound like thunder. The approach to it is enclosed, and leads through a toy-shop, and there are a hotel and good lodging-houses in the neighbourhood. The Clarendon, West Indiaman, was wrecked opposite the Chine in October, 1836, when all on board except three seamen perished.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


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