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Red Sea Glass from the UK - Curious Shapes!

by Sam Hastings
(Devon, UK)

Red Sea Glass from the United Kingdom

Red Sea Glass from the United Kingdom

~ By: Sam Hastings - Devon, UK

Hi there! I wonder if you can help me shed some light on some little treasures i have found.

I know you guys are in the US but i'm struggling to find a source of info in the UK.

We live in Devon, SW England and have found a beautiful beach that offers up some fabulous finds.

About 2 months ago we found 2 large red glass nuggets which we were amazed by and then yesterday we found 3 more almost identical peices. The curious things about them are

  1. They were all found in the same patch of beach, although months apart

  2. They are chunky nugget shape pieces and all very similar in size and shape

  3. They are remarkably unfrosted but very smooth and obviously well worn (there are some little chips on some of them).

Any information or clues would be of great interest.

Thank You so much for your time.

Sam Hastings

Plymouth, Devon, UK

Map of Devon, UK area:

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General Information about Devon, United Kingdom (excerpted from Wikipedia):

Devon is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south.

It is a part of South West England, and bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the northeast, and Dorset to the east.

Geographically, Devon is distinguished as the only county of England to have two separate coastlines (northern and southern), both of which are peppered by lofty cliffs and sandy shores; Devon's bays are typically used as fisheries, ports or seaside towns used for tourism.

Since the rise of seaside resorts with the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, Devon's economy has been heavily reliant on tourism.

The county's economy followed the declining trend of British seaside resorts since the mid-20th century, but with some recent revival and regeneration of its resorts, particularly focused around camping; sports such as surfing, cycling, sailing and heritage.

Devon is the only county in England to have two separate coastlines; the South West Coast Path runs along the entire length of both, around 65% of which is named as Heritage Coast.

One of the features of the North Devon coast is that Bideford Bay and the Hartland Point peninsula are both west-facing, Atlantic facing coastlines; so that a combination of an off-shore (east) wind and an Atlantic swell produce excellent surfing conditions.

The beaches of Bideford Bay (Woolacombe, Saunton, Westward Ho! and Croyde), along with parts of North Cornwall and South Wales, are the main centres of surfing in Britain.

Comments from David and Lin at Odyssey:

Looking at the amazing photo above, Lin and I are quite impressed by the size of these unusual pieces.

However, Lin remarks that she has never seen glass that has been on a beach for any length of time that is not frosted. So, we have the same question as Sam asks?

What are these???  Smiley


The extensive coastline of Devon plus the constant wave action indicate good possibilities for producing sea glass.

However, other conditions (pebbly or rockstrewn beaches and a supply of glass for example) are not known to us at this point.

If anyone has more information on beaches in this largely unreported coastline, please share that info with us.

If this information has been interesting, entertaining, and/or helpful, please remember to click the "Like" or other buttons at the top of this page to share this with your friends.


David Lin Odyssey Sea Glass

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Comments for Red Sea Glass from the UK - Curious Shapes!

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Bovisand beach red glass
by: Martha Smith

Hi, I know these beaches really well, my husband is a geologist and really loves the locations geology so we are there alot.

I even number the beaches in the same way as you and agree that 1 and 3 don't have much glass but 2 and 4 do.

Those red pieces are lovely, red glass is extremely rare here.

There are extensive wave cut platforms around there and on beach 4 there is part at the back of the beach that doesn't often see even the very highest of tides and I was there recently during the recent storm Frank on New Years Eve.

There is a stream that feeds onto that beach so I wonder if it could have worn away over time but tucked away in the path of the fresh water not the salt higher up the beach than the tide normally reaches.

There are many little streams around that area beach 1, 2, 4 and a beach further round the coast from beach 4 has one and I have noticed at times more of a concentration of things including glass, pebbles and driftwood thrown up onto the beach particularly around and immediately on either side of the stream ways.

Boats and hoes!
by: Anonymous

Bovi sand is situated in just off the shipping channel where many boats pass through, any larger pieces are usually from damaged night lights on cargo ships, although not that common so good find!

Peran Sands, Chester, UK
by: Ali Salmon

South-Western England.

We couldn't believe how much sea glass we found here.

Mostly green but quite a few pieces of pale blue too and only one brown.

The beach was covered in Cuttlefish too.

by: Kay Carruth

These pieces are absolutely gorgeous!! Happy hunting!!

Beach info
by: Sam Hastings

The beach where they were found is one of 4 bays within in Bovisands on the south coast of Devon, near Plymouth.

Interestingly the amount of sea glass found differs from bay to bay, the 2nd and 4th having lots, the 1st and 3rd having little.

The 4th, where these were found, has the most (although is the least frequented by visitors)and has lots of rocky areas, mainly sandy but the area that the red glass were found is very pebbly.

The lack of frosting is a mystery to us as the glass we usually collect there (in a wide range of colours) is usually very frosted. The shape is also a mystery, they are like segments of an orange! My kids are convinced we have found pirate treasure!!

Henley Hotel

Folly Hill, Bigbury-on-Sea TQ7 4AR, England
near Plymouth, Devon

Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Bigbury-on-Sea

34 Reviews

“The Jewel of South Devon”
November 6, 2012 - Terence M

“A haven from the busy world”
November 3, 2012 - Jenny M

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Beach Glass - naturally wave-tumbled and frosted glass found on fresh-water or salt-water beaches.

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On What is Sea Glass