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Washed Ashore: The Tower of Stormount Bay

The Tower of Stormount Bay

Library of Alexandria
There was an old grey weather-beaten stone tower standing on the top of a high rocky promontory, which formed the western side of a deep bay, on the south coast of England. The promontory was known as the Stormy Mount, which had gradually been abbreviated into Stormount, a very appropriate name, for projecting, as it did, boldly out into the ocean, many a fierce storm had, age after age, raged round its summit and hurled the roaring, curling waves into masses of foam against its base, while the white spray flew in showers far above its topmost height. To the west of Stormount, the coast was rocky and fringed by numerous reefs, while on the further side of the bay, also formed by a promontory, less in height than that of Stormount, it consisted of cliffs, broken considerably however by chines and other indentations, and pierced here and there by caverns, some close down to the water, and others high up and almost inaccessible from below. Inland, the country was sparsely cultivated—open downs and fern and gorse-covered heaths prevailing. The more sheltered nooks in the bay contained a few fishermen’s cottages, pitched here and there wherever the ground favoured their erection, with very little regard to symmetry or order. Nearer to the water were boat-sheds, and stakes, and spars, on which nets were spread to dry or to be repaired.