Purbeck Coast, Dorset World Heritage Area

Purbeck Coast, Dorset World Heritage Coast


The Purbeck Coast he youngest rocks in the Devon & Dorset World Heritage Site

Lulworth Cove, Dorset

Purbeck-Portland Limestone. Quarried from Tilly Whim Caves, Dancing Ledge and Winspit the Purbeck-Portland Limestone provided the building stone for houses such as, Lulworth Castle, And Durlston Castle. It was also shipped to London. Galleries were driven deep into the cliffs and the blocks of stone were loaded on barges using cliff-mounted cranes. Today the galleries are both derelict and dangerous. Two Purbeck quarries working Portland Limestone are still open today, St Aldhelm's Quarry which provides a polished limestone known as Spangle and the much larger Swanworth Quarry where the Portland Limestone is quarried for aggregate.

The Purbeck Stone. Within the clays and limestones that make up the Purbeck Beds, several feature as a source of stone, with names like Roach, Thornback and Grub, each with their own qualities. These rocks were once worked underground around Acton, Townsend (in Swanage) and along the coastal slopes around Durlston. Today the stone is worked in open cast sites around Acton.


Devon and Dorset World Heritage Coast