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.

Monday, 18 July 2011


Kimmeridge Bay lies within the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and is a popular place for fossil hunting and rock-pooling.  The bay is part of the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve, managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Although it's hard to imagine now, the rocks at Kimmeridge Bay were once the floor of a deep, tropical sea rich in pre-historic life which formed in the Jurassic period, 155 million years ago. 

The cliffs and foreshore contain a very thick sequence of Kimmeridge Clay. The sequence of rocks here provides such an excellent record of this part of the Jurassic that geologists have adopted Kimmeridgian as the term for rocks of this age all around the world.

Beneath the cliffs there is a large wave-cut platform (known as The Flats).  The stone ledges make it easy to view life on the shore and in the shallow waters, and there is safe snorkelling for those who wish to have a go.

On the cliff towards the west is the BP "nodding donkey" oil pump which has been pumping continually since 1959, making it the oldest working oil pump in the UK.  The oil formed in rocks that were laid down on a stagnant sea floor.

A little way inland from the bay is the pretty hamlet of Kimmeridge.

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