Travels with an Eriba
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The Jurassic Coast
What is the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site?
- The Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site is England’s first and only natural World Heritage Site.
- The Jurassic Coast is a hugely diverse and beautiful landscape underpinned by amazing geology of global importance.
- The site is a 95 mile stretch of the south coast from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland in Dorset.
- It was awarded World Heritage Site status in December 2001 by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) because of its outstanding Earth science interest.
- It is the only place on Earth where 185 million years of the Earth’s history are sequentially exposed in dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, coastal stacks and barrier beaches.
- The ‘tilt’ of the rocks creates a unique ‘walk through time’ from 250 million to 65 million years ago, through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods as you walk eastwards along the Site
Dorset covers an area of 2,653 square kilometres and contains considerable variety in its underlying geology, which is partly responsible for the diversity of landscape. A large percentage of the county comprises either chalk, clay or mixed sand and gravels. The remainder is less straightforward and includes Portland and Purbeck stone, other limestones, calcareous clays and shales. Portland and Purbeck stone are of national importance as a building material and for restoring some of Britain's most famous landmarks. Almost every type of rock known from the Early Jurassic to the Eocene epochs can be found in the county.
Our visits, so far, have concentrated of the areas known as the Isle of Purbeck and the Isle of Portland . Neither of them is actually an island, but rather each is a peninsula and both feel somewhat distinct from the surrounding areas.
West Lulworth and Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door
Lulworth is a tiny but beautiful village. Its narrow winding streets are lined with thatched cottages and there is a very interesting visitor centre where you can brush up on your geography and see how the coast was formed millions of years ago. A short walk away is Lulworth Cove, an almost circular bay surrounded by chalk cliffs.
From the car park by the centre there is a white path heading up a steep hill to Durdle Door. On the way up there are some wonderful views back over Lulworth Cove and out to sea where you can see as far as the Isle of Portland and the famous Chesil Beach. Durdle Door is one of the most famous sights in the UK; a beautiful rock arch formed 10,000 years ago. From the clifftop that overlooks the beach you’ll see old sea stacks which were once arches, and at the far end of the beach, a new arch is being formed.
There are not many old written records about the arch, though it has kept a name given to it probably over a thousand years ago. In the late 18th century there is a description of the "magnificent arch of Durdle-rock Door", and early 19th century maps called it "Duddledoor" and "Durdle" or "Dudde Door". In 1811 the first Ordnance Survey map of the area named it as "Dirdale Door". Durdle is derived from the Old English thirl, meaning to pierce, bore or drill, which in turn derives from thyrel, meaning hole. The Door part of the name probably maintains its modern meaning, referring to the arched shape of the rock; in the late 19th century there is reference to it being called the "Barn-door", and is described as being "sufficiently high for a good-sized sailing boat to pass through it".
Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door
Our Walk from Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door
- View down to Lulworth Cove from cliff path
- Lulworth Cove
- Begiinng of path up to Durdle Door
- Going up!
- Views on the way
- Looking back towards Lulworth
- Lovely vista
- Getting nearer
- Spectacular rock formations
- First glimpse of Durdle Door
- Close up
- Venturing through the arch 1
- Venturing through the arch 2
- Anne enjoying the view
- View of Bat Head from Durdle Door
- Artist at work in Lulworth
- Final view of Lulworth Cove
Tiny and unspoiled, Corfe Castle village can’t look much different now than it did hundreds of years ago. Many of the buildings are made of silvery grey Purbeck stone, The ruins of the ancient castle tower over the village. It sits on a small hill in a natural gap in the Purbeck Hills – an obvious site for a defensive post, and it’s thought that there has been a fortification of some kind here since Roman times The current castle dates from the end of the 11th century. It was once a Royal castle, was the site of murders, tortures and political intrigue. Besieged during the civil war, it was finally destroyed by Cromwell and the Roundheads in 1646. Today you can walk amongst its precarious-looking facades and climb some of the remaining staircases. The best view of the village is to be had from its terraces.
A Short Tour around Corfe Castle
- View down to Corfe Castle village from the castle
- Approaching the centre of the village showing the dominance of the castle
- Getting closer
- The ancient Greyhound Inn in the village centre
- Greyhound info board
- Castle seen from above the Greyhound roof
- Village station on the wondeful Swanage-Corfe line
- Engine close-up
- Castle seen fromCastle glimpsed from hillside near station
- signpost to castle
- Impressive ruins 1
- Impressive ruins 2
- Wonderful views
- Impressive ruins 3
- Impressive ruins 4
- Castle walls