Removals and storage in Lulworth, Dorset
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Lulworth: A potted history
East Lulworth is a village and civil parish nine miles east of Dorchester, near Lulworth Cove, in the Purbeck district. It consists of 17th-century thatched cottages. The village is now dominated by the barracks of the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School who use a portion of the Purbeck Hills as a gunnery range. In 2013 the estimated population of the civil parish was 160
The nearby Weld Estate Castle Park grounds contains the first Roman Catholic chapel to be built (in the form of a Greek mausoleum in 1786) since the time of the Protestant Reformation. It was the private chapel of the recusant Weld family (a branch of the present-day Weld-Blundell family) and designed by John Tasker. It cost £2,380 to build.
The Church of England parish church is dedicated to St Andrew. Only the perpendicular tower and octagonal font are original, the remainder of the church was built in 1864. It was designed by John Hicks, who also designed East Holme church.
Henry Rolls (1803-1877) was a shoemaker who taught himself to read and write. He kept a journal of the main happenings of village life from 1824 until 1877. After Henry’s death, his son George Rolls (1846-1929) continued the journal covering the period from 1877 to 1928. George’s daughter Agnes Mary Rolls (1879-1961) then took over responsibility for the journal from 1929 to 1955.
West Lulworth is a village and civil parish beside Lulworth Cove. In the 2011 census the civil parish—which includes most of Lulworth Camp army base—had 291 households and a population of 714.
In 1086 in the Domesday Book West Lulworth was not distinguished from neighbouring East Lulworth; only one settlement was recorded, called Luluorde, Luluworde or Loloworde. It had 38.3 households, was in Winfrith Hundred and the lord and tenant-in-chief was Aiulf the chamberlain. Despite this, East and West Lulworth may have been separate settlements at this time, and definitely were so by the end of the 13th century.
The Castle Inn is one of the oldest pubs in Dorset, dating from the 16th century. Holy Trinity parish church was originally in the village centre, but was demolished in 1869 although the old churchyard still remains. The present church, built of local stone taken from the cove, replaced it. It was largely financed by the then incumbent Rev. William Gildea, brother of philanthropist Sir James Gidea.
From the late 17th to the mid 19th century smugglers used Lulworth Cove and other bays and beaches nearby. The building of coastguard cottages, which housed the customs officers still stand above the cove. Lulworth at one point had a mill, powered by water from a nearby spring. It was burnt down during the 19th century and all that remains of its existence is the millpond.
West Lulworth civil parish covers 2,593 acres. The underlying geology is mostly chalk, with a strip of Portland limestone along the coast. At Lulworth Cove the sea has breached the limestone and eroded the soft Wealden Beds behind, resulting in the circular shape of the cove.
West Lulworth village is dominated by two hills: to the east is Bindon Hill, a 170m high ridge, which has extensive remains of Iron Age earthworks. To the west is Hambury Tout, which has a barrow on its rounded top.
West Lulworth village is about half a mile north of Lulworth Cove, a picturesque, sheltered bay enclosed almost in a circle. The natural limestone arch of Durdle Door is a mile west along the coast from Lulworth Cove. About 100m west of the cove, lies Stair Hole, a geological formation of caves with blowholes, which lies aside from the village.
West Lulworth village has a first school, a youth hostel, several small hotels, pubs and a general store. Commercial fishing is based at the cove, together with scallop diving and leisure trips. The stores and hotels line the route between the town and the cove, with several small stores selling locally caught seafood.
Lulworth Cove is one of the world’s finest examples of such a landform, and is a tourist location with approximately 500,000 visitors a year, of whom about 30 per cent visit in July and August. It is close to the rock arch of Durdle Door and other Jurassic Coast sites.
The cove has formed as a result of bands of rock of alternating resistance running parallel to the coastline (a concordant coastline). On the seaward side the clays and sands have been eroded away. A narrow (less than 30 metre) band of Portland limestone rocks forms the shoreline. Behind this is a narrow (less than 50 metres) band of slightly less resistant Purbeck limestone. Behind this are 300–350 metres of much less resistant clays and greensands (Wealden clays, Gault and Upper Greensand).
Stair Hole, less than half a mile west, is an infant cove which suggests what Lulworth Cove would have looked like a few hundred thousand years ago. The sea has made a gap in the Portland and Purbeck limestone here, as well as a small arch. The sea has made its way through to the Wealdon clays and begun eroding them. The clay shows obvious signs of slumping, and is eroding very rapidly. Stair Hole shows one of the best examples of limestone folding (the Lulworth crumple) in the world, caused by movements in the Earth’s crust (tectonics) millions of years ago. Folding can also be seen at nearby Durdle Door and at Lulworth cove itself.
To the east there is a fossilised forest. Lulworth is also close to Kimmeridge, famous for its rocky shore and fossils. Oil-bearing sands beneath the sea bed form the largest British oil field outside the North Sea area, and contain the highest quality oil in Europe. Geologists and geographers have been interested in the area since the beginning of the 19th century, and in the 1830s the first serious study of the area took place. Since then the area has drawn Geology students from all over the world.
Purbeck suffers from trampling because of its many visitors and erosion from the sea. Management has been put in place to stop the coastline from being ruined, such as wooden steps and fences. These will keep people to a certain path and steps will reinforce the ground.
In 2001 the coast was granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. Experts at UNESCO have been working on preserving the shape of Lulworth Cove. Lulworth was one of a number of gateway villages on the coast with a Heritage Centre—part visitor centre, tourist information and natural history museum—which in 2002 received 418,595 visitors. Most of the area is privately owned by the Lulworth Estate, an estate held by the Welds.
Land to the east is owned by the Ministry of Defence and used for tank training, only open on weekends and holidays. The coast and land to the north and around the village is owned and managed by the Lulworth Estate (see Lulworth Castle). Each year, over 250,000 people walk across the hill linking the cove to Durdle Door.
Lulworth Cove featured on the TV programme Seven Natural Wonders (2005) as one of the wonders of Southern England; and in the TV documentary Walking Through History (2013). It also appeared in the Mike Leigh TV film Nuts in May (1976), and was used for the location filming in the Doctor Who serial The Curse of Fenric (1989) and in the film adaptation of the book World War Z (2013). Thomas Hardy also wrote a poem mentioning the location titled “At Lulworth Cove a Century Back.”
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