The earliest close relatives of the giant sequoia were.......Sequoia couttsiae, which appear as fossils through much of the Northern Hemisphere in Cretaceous and Tertiary age rocks. They are present in Greenland, Alaska, Canada, and England (Chaney 1951). Although no doubt they are related to the giant sequoia, their morphology differs sufficiently to show that they are not its immediate ancestors... (Axelrod 1959)..........
The Bovey Formation is a deposit of sands, clays and lignite, probably over 1000 ft. thick, that lies in a sedimentary basin termed the Bovey Basin which extends from Bovey Tracey to Newton Abbot in South Devon, England. The Bovey Basin lies along the line of the Sticklepath fault and owes its existence to subsidence along this fault.
The deposit is evidently the result of the degradation of the neighbouring Dartmoor granite; and it was laid down in river flood plains and lakes during the late Eocene and Oligocene periods. Most of the fossilised plant material in the lignite is from Sequoia couttsiae.
The Bovey Formation is the major source in England for ball clay – a highly plastic fine-grained kaolinitic sedimentary clay of great importance to the pottery industry. Large excavations have been made for the extraction of these clays. The lignite or "Bovey Coal" was in the past burned in local kilns, and in steam engines and workmen's cottages, but it was not economical