I don't suppose I'm the only TME contributer that have been enjoying a complete and utter Noah of a Christmas in Merry England 2013. The rain has been persisting down, and my hens are up to their feathered arses in the puddles. Taking our dogs for a walk has been a joyful exercise in finding which pairs of boots leak the least. But we've had it easy compared to some.
Naturally I wondered when else it has been so wet in years gone by. That let me by various steps to a gem buried in a booklet published by the British Geological Society called 'Britain beneath our feet'
"Flooding is the major and most frequent recurring natural disaster in Britain. " (No shit Sherlock!) "But it is not a new phenomenon and geological information shows where it has happened in recent geological past - in the last 10 000 years. BGS holds data that show where the floodplains occur - the alluvial deposits that compose clay , silt sand and gravel left behind in previous inundations"
This is were it really starts to get interesting for TME. These were no ordinary floodplains - they were so extensive that Avebury and Stonehenge were harbours on rivers!
BGS image for Southern England.
Immediately we can see that The Greater Ridgeway didn't just meander across southern England's chalk downs, it was in fact the only dry route between the west and east coasts of southern England.
Joy of joys, Robert John Langdon has taken the geological data and started producing detailed 25,000 scale maps of what that looked like.