For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms, but now, two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation.
Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of “huge and mighty hills of water” advancing at a speed “faster than a greyhound can run” and only receding 10 days later. Scientists have revealed evidence from all around the Severn Estuary backing up their theory. This included a layer of sand in mud deposits at Cardiff’s Rumney Wharf, in which pebbles and pieces of broken-up shell can be found. They claimed that these deposits were brought in from the open ocean, and they argue that boulders lying on the shore in Dunraven Bay in south Wales could have been carried into their positions by the force of the onrushing waters.
“Whether it is sand on the marsh, or it’s pebbles in the clay, or it’s erosion on the headland or boulders piled up in key spots, you go for the simplest explanation, and I can put down most of the signatures we have seen by one wave,” said Mr Bryant.