The Seven Sisters cliffs are made of chalk that formed where the South Downs meets the sea and are the remnants of dry valleys in the chalk South Downs.
The cliffs are receding at about 30–40cm each year on average. The process is intermittent with major falls occurring after heavy rain or rough seas, often two of three times per year. Where these falls occur they protect the base of the cliffs from the sea and usually there are no falls in the same places for eight or nine years until the sea undercuts the cliffs again.
The Seven Sisters Cliffs are so called because sailors from days of yore believed that they looked like a row of seven nuns. That’s their head gear or wimple. However over time the cliffs have eroded away one of the nuns.
The names of the Seven Sisters are:
- Haven Brow
- Short Brow
- Rough Brow
- Brass Point
- Flat Hill
- Bailey’s Hill
- Went Hill
The names are pretty straight forward, with Haven means “harbour”, Brow means “hill”.