I have just had a trip out to the south of the castle to look at the dune formation with Dr Richard Tipping. The relationship between the rock fortress and its natural setting has long been of interest. We know for instance that the sea is depicted right up against the northern end of the castle rock on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map and have long suspected that the Bowl Hole cemetery site (to the south of the castle) had a much closer relationship with the north sea that is does today. In a walk over inspection Richard has identified further boulder clay plateaus, similar to the one on which the burial ground lies, emerging from the dune, further south. Just what archaeological remains my lie to be discovered here we can only speculate on at the moment, though we may be tempted to investigate in future seasons.
The cemetery, which was sample excavated by the BRP between 1997 and 2007 revealing some 91 distinct burials, lay just above the Bowl Hole depression in the sand dunes. This low lying feature frequently floods during wet winter periods but is usually dry during the summer. One thing that our walk brought home to us, if anything more was needed, was the just how much rain has fallen this summer, because the Bowl Hole was well and truly flooded.
The Bowl Hole flooded in mid winter, as seen from the cemetery plataeu.