Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 8, 2014

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The Doom Bar

The Doom Bar is a sandbar at the mouth of the estuary of the River Camel on the north coast of Cornwall, England. It is composed mainly of marine sand, more than 60 per cent of which is derived from marine shells making it an important source of agricultural lime which has been collected for hundreds of years. According to tradition, the Doom Bar formed in the reign of Henry VIII, damaging the prosperity of the port of Padstow a mile up the estuary. Until the 20th century, access to Padstow's harbour was via a narrow and difficult channel between the Doom Bar and the cliffs at Stepper Point, and many ships were wrecked on the Doom Bar, including the 12-gun schooner HMS Whiting in 1816. In the early 20th century the main channel moved away from the cliffs, and continued dredging has made it much safer for boats, but deaths have occurred on the bar as recently as 1997. A Cornish folklore legend relates that a mermaid created the bar as a dying curse on the harbour after she was shot by a local man. The Doom Bar has been used in poetry to symbolise feelings of melancholy, and it has given its name to the flagship ale from Sharp's Brewery. (Full article...)

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