Welcome to Dorset Allsorts

We'll be posting a variety of facts and photos of whatever takes our fancy as we wander around Dorset. They may be of churches, buildings, visitor attractions or natural scenes – in fact there will be all sorts! We hope they will give you a glimpse of some of the sights this beautiful county has to offer.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

St Aldhelm's Head - A Walk in the Purbecks

Yesterday we went for a lovely circular walk from Worth Matravers, near Swanage, in the Purbecks.  The walk included a section of the South West Coast Path which passed by many of the old Purbeck stone quarry sites, such as the one above at Winspit.  The quarried stone used to be lowered from ledges on to boats to be transported to Swanage and then on to London.

Another point of interest on the walk was St Aldhelm's Chapel.  This isolated Norman chapel stands on cliffs 108m above sea level at St Aldhelm's Head and occupies the centre of a pre-Conquest Christian enclosure. 

The 7.77m square shape of the chapel is most unusual for an ecclesiatical building. It is believed the chapel was originally a chantry, where a priest would celebrate mass for the safety of sailors, and it might well have been used for rest and prayer by kings, who often hunted in Purbeck.

The chapel has impresseive 12th century vaulted ceilings but is nevertheless simple in design.  A quiet place for reflection and a welcome cool respite from the heat outside!

As we approached the last point of interest on our walk, the lovely bay called Chapman's Pool, a sea mist came rolling in, which was quite surreal and made for an interesting photo. Unfortunately, the mist obscured our view of the bay itself. The path leading up the hill on the right is where we had to walk - not an easy feat on a hot summer's day!


  1. You really do take a good photograph. Those are gorgeous!

  2. Thanks for the kind comment once again fairyhedgehog. We're lucky to have so much lovely scenery on our doorstep. N & K