While this doesn’t really explain the feature in my post from a few minutes ago (since the position is all wrong), I learned something very interesting about Brean Down.
Apparently, in the 1860s there was talk of building a harbor there, with the breakwater at the western end of the down and the docks to the east.
What’s even more interesting is that the idea was revived briefly in 1887 according to this page.
Now that’s interesting. It isn’t a colossus, but it is a construction in the waters there that was swept away in a storm, just like the statue I thought I remembered. Also, given that I was only 10 years old (and in a completely different body) at the time I could have easily gotten my details mixed up.
Supposing someone alluded to the harbor at Rhodes in ancient Greece as Weston and Uphill’s aspiration for the future. I could have easily conflated the harbor at Rhodes and a massive construction with the building of a Colossus. And I imagine there might have been site engineers on a barge with a derrick or something along those lines looking into the feasibility of the project and how they could prevent the failure of 1868.
I won’t call this “case closed,” but given the time, location, and nature of the project, I’ll call it “a good lead.” If I find lots of references to the harbor at the ancient city of Rhodes in any archival stories about this, it’ll be a memory somewhat confirmed.