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Nowhere is the power of the sea so magnificently displayed than at Marsden Bay. This stretch of coastline is littered with stacks, arches, headlands, bays and caves, sculpted by the sea and constantly evolving over thousands of years.
The above co-ordinates are for the information board on top of the cliffs. The large stack in front of you is the remaining part of the once mighty Marsden Rock, an imposing 100-feet high sea stack of magnesium limestone lying approximately 100 yards off the main land of South Shields. The first map to actually show the rock as being isolated from the mainland was that of Captain Collins in 1693 and was published as "Great Britain's Coasting Pilot". In 1830 a flight of steps was constructed up the side of the rock, and visitors could climb up and purchase refreshments from a tent on the top. The rock was climbed by this method many times and in 1903, several choirs were massed on top of the rock to perform a choral service. In 1911 a huge section of the rock collapsed and it was feared that the entire rock would be claimed by the sea. Many further rock falls and severe erosion by the sea, have seen much of the cavern and corridor systems within the rock disappear. In 1996, the top section of the arch the rock collapsed, splitting the rock into two separate stacks. In 1997, following the relentless battering of the sea, experts inspected the smaller stack to the south of the main rock and declared that in the interest of public safety it should be demolished.
If you wish to descend to the beach, please use the lift or steps to your left. Public parking is available at Marsden Grotto or Souter Point.
To log this cache please post a photo of yourself or GPSr with Marsden Rock in the background and e-mail me with the answer to the following question. According to the information panel, why is this stretch of coastline littered with stacks and arches. Please do not include the answer in your log.
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