The Geography Department




Purbeck  Lulworth Cove






Lulworth Cove, 4 April 2007






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Morning session



Chapman's Pool

Chesil Beach - 1998 storms  August 2000  April 2006  April 2007

Corfe Castle


Durdle Door - April 2006  April 2007



Furzy Cliffs


Kimmeridge Bay


Lulworth Cove  Colchester VIth Form College AS Fieldwork Oct 2001

Lulworth Cove  4 April 2007 am.

Lulworth Cove  4 April 2007 pm.


Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks April 2006


Osmington Mills



Swanage beach and cliffs


West Bay harbour engineering works Feb 2004

West Bay harbour defence works, October 2004

West Bay, harbour and cliffs, August 2005

White Nothe April 2006






Three views of Stair Hole in the morning, moving to seaward to show the limestone barrier of Portland and Purbeck rock formations, and the Isle of Portland on the horizon.

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the cove has been etched out behind the rock barrier and into softer Wealden clays; the exposure gives unrivalled access to the steep-dipping formations which are always kept fresh by erosion.

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The Wealden clays become highly mobile in wet weather, and slide down into Stair Hole. The moving morass is lethal to move over, but luckily the weather had been dry and the clay has cracked into granules, which posed their own, less sticky, problems!

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Human occupation of the cove is restricted to a number of small buildings and a slipway.

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A short time after high tide the beach was accessible, just, and the eroded chalk beach could be examined. This is a high-risk rockfall area, especially in high winds and in/after heavy rain.

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The beach was pebble-sized in the main, mostly of flint and, right, a percentage of chalk. In the centre the dipping strata of middle chalk.

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The cove from the eastern shore. The cross-profile of Lulworth Bay is well illustrated from a vantage point above the beach steps.

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The eastern part of the bay is marked by exposures of upper greensand and clays, seen above slumping onto the beach and necessitating a shallow-angled tier of wooden steps to get to the beach (centre) and then oversteep steps to get to the col.

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A clear path leads to the eastern horn of the cove, where, in the morning, views of Lulworth, the dipping limestones and Stair Hole beyond and, below, a great overview.

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Nestling in a narrow valley that emerges into the cove, the settlement of West Lulworth curls around to the east. On the left is the clay and on the right the chalk cliffs.

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Making height on the footpath was rapid, to get above the cliff face, but then gave respectable views of the western horn of the limestone, and Durdle Door and the Isle of Purbeck beyond.

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The footpath crosses above the highest level of cliffs, but is vertiginous in places, before joining a more sedate path, left, with fencing. The steepness of the slope can be seen in the right-hand photo.

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Back near sea level and the harbour buildings come into view; on the right is a view towards the coastguard cottages and the pathway in the distance. the house is probably hired out to holidaymakers at a premium price!

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