Speaker: Richard Edmonds

Talk Title: The Old Goat; the Great Bindon Landslide of 1839

Friday 8th March 2019

The tumultuous accounts of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1839 record one of the most famous and celebrated landslide events in the World which took place in the undercliff between Axmouth and Lyme Regis. Eyewitnesses describe a huge convulsion in the earth where 16 acres of land, 8 million tonnes of rock, slipped seaward creating Goat Island isolated from the fields behind by a yawning chasm.  The sea bed was heaved up to form a reef offshore, and the Victorians, being fans of the forces of nature, flocked to this coast to marvel at the spectacle.

Since then a number of scientists have developed theories to explain this complex landslide but there is no agreement and no detailed map to base any interpretations on, however, with the entire coast of England now being surveyed under a strategic monitoring programme the answers may be in sight. Using modern techniques; high resolution aerial photography and LiDAR (laser ranging) to penetrate the trees and plant-life now covering the area, along with seabed bathymetry, to judge just how far offshore the complex extends it may now be possible to understand these forces of nature.

About the speaker

Richard Edmond’s love of the Jurassic Coast started with the chance finding of a perfect pyrite (fools gold) ammonite when he moved to Lyme Regis in 1972. The spark of love for geology was lit for him.  He has now spent over 30 years working within the realms of his geology including over 11 years as a warden for the new Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre followed by several years working on the application for World Heritage status as the Earth Science Manager within the Jurassic Coast Team.

Now a freelance consultant and expert on this coast he still lives near Lyme and actively collects fossils – mostly Ichthyosaurs but has also discovered two species new to science and made several other significant and interesting finds.  Having spent over 2,500 hours working on exploring and analysing the evidence of The Great Landslide there is no-one more informed than Richard to explain the geology of our local area and the dramatic change made to our coastline by the Great Landslide of 1839. 

About Supper & Conversation at Trill

Supper & Conversation provides an opportunity to enjoy an inspiring talk followed by a convivial supper, sharing ideas and evolving positive ways forward. Speakers include writers, innovators, critics, political agitators and environmentalists, and aim to be informative, to stimulate thinking, to make us laugh and to amaze us. 

The suppers are inspired by the content of the talk and from the seasonal abundance of the farm. The Old Dairy Kitchen now will be selling alcohol at these events with a delicious range of natural wines and locally produced beers and ciders to pick from (not included in the price of the dinner ticket).