Sand Point and Middle Hope

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Middle Hope
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Middle Hope - - 63208.jpg
Sand Point and Middle Hope is located in Somerset
Sand Point and Middle Hope
Shown within Somerset
Area of Search Avon
Grid reference ST325662
Coordinates 51°23′27″N 2°58′17″W / 51.39081°N 2.97150°W / 51.39081; -2.97150Coordinates: 51°23′27″N 2°58′17″W / 51.39081°N 2.97150°W / 51.39081; -2.97150
Interest Biological
Area 84.1 hectares (0.841 km2; 0.325 sq mi)
Notification 1952 (1952)
Natural England website

Sand Point in Somerset, England is the peninsula stretching out from Middle Hope, an 84.1 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. It lies to the north of the village of Kewstoke, and the stretch of coastline called Sand Bay north of the town of Weston-super-Mare. It is owned by the National Trust and is a popular place for walking. On a clear day it commands views over Flat Holm, of the Bristol Channel, South Wales, Clevedon, the Second Severn Crossing and the Severn Bridge.

A line drawn between Sand Point and Lavernock Point in South Wales marks the lower limit of the Severn Estuary and the start of the Bristol Channel.[1] Woodspring Priory sits just inland of the rocky promontory.


At Middle Hope a sequence of Carboniferous Limestone, and includes limestones, thick volcanic tufts and lavas are exposed, affording some of the finest Tournaisian carbonate sections in South West England. The site contains a Pleistocene aged fossil cliff and shore platform.[2][3]

The raised beach of wave cut platforms have been created by changes in sea level since the Quaternary period.[4][5] The arrangement of volcanic and sedimentary rocks illustrates the events of 350 million years ago (myr).[6]


Among scarce plants found on Sand Point are Smallflower Buttercup,[7] and Honewort.[8] It is also the site of the Middle Hope 84.1 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest.[2] The range of soils at the site support various flora and fauna. The calcareous grassland is dominated by Festuca species and Dactylis glomerata, while the scrub towards the west of the site is dominated by Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), while that to the east consists of Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus) and Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg).[2]


Two Iron Age hill forts have been identified, one of which was adapted as a look out post in World War II.[9][10]

A Motte and bailey castle was constructed after the Norman Conquest.[11]

The walls of the sheep fold were built by prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars.[9]


  1. ^ "Severn Estuary". Severn Boating. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Middle Hope" (PDF). SSSI citation sheet. English Nature. Retrieved 31 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Faulkner, T.J. (1989). "The early Carboniferous (Courceyan) Middle Hope volcanics of Weston-super-Mare: development and demise of an offshore volcanic high". Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 100 (1): 93–106. doi:10.1016/S0016-7878(89)80068-9. 
  4. ^ "North Somerset Landscape Character Assessment" (PDF). North Somerset Council. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Somerset". Natural England. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Middle Hope, Kewstoke, Somerset". Avon RIGS Group. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Myles (2000), page 66
  8. ^ Myles (2000), page 161
  9. ^ a b "Sand Point & Middlehope, Somerset" (PDF). National Trust. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sand Point and Middle Hope". National Trust. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Motte and bailey castle 650m NNW of Sandpoint Farm". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 


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