What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire
=How to get there.=–By rail from Waterloo Station. South-Western Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Wool, 5 miles. (Corfe Castle, Wareham, and Swanage are very convenient, though the drive is a little longer.) =Distance from London.=–126 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 3-1/2 to 5-1/4 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 21s. 0d. 13s. 2d. 10s. 6d. Return 36s. 9d. 23s. 0d. 21s. 0d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Cove Hotel,” West Lulworth. “Banke’s Arms Hotel” at Corfe Castle. =Alternative Route.=–Via Bournemouth. Train direct from Waterloo. Steamers run once a week or oftener during the summer months (weather permitting) to Swanage and Lulworth Cove.
The remarkable cove at West Lulworth consists of a completely circular basin, hollowed out of the bold cliffs of the southern coast-line of Purbeck Island. It is of sufficient depth to allow small ships of from sixty to eighty tons to enter. The narrow opening to the cove is between two bluffs of Portland stone, forming a portion of what was the barrier to the sea in former times. Once, however, did the waves eat through the Portland stone in this place, it was easy work to gradually batter down and wash out, through the narrow opening, a circular bay from the soft strata of Hastings sands lying in the protection of the Portland stone. On the west side of the cove one may notice rocks with such peculiarly contorted strata as those shown in the foreground of the illustration opposite.
A most interesting and rugged portion of the coast lies to the west of Lulworth Cove. After leaving the coastguard signal station one reaches Stair Hole, a cavity walled off from the sea by Portland limestone. At high tide, however, the sea enters the chasm through a number of small apertures, and is probably carving out at this spot a circular basin after the manner of Lulworth Cove. Passing Dungy Head and Oswald or Horsewall Bay, with its towering chalk cliffs, one reaches a low promontory known as Tongue Beach. It is formed of layers of limestone tilted into curved or perpendicular positions. Crossing this promontory one enters Durdle Bay, with the Barndoor, an archway 30 feet high, in a massive cliff.
At East Lulworth, a little way inland from the cove, stands Lulworth Castle, an imposing-looking building with circular towers at each corner. It was built about three hundred years ago on the site of an earlier castle.
[Illustration: LULWORTH COVE FROM THE WEST.
The circular basin has been eaten out of the sandy soil after the sea had cut an opening in the Portland stone which forms the actual coast-line at this point.]