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Dancing Ledge and Purbeck Coast

Dancing Ledge is a disused stone quarry, located right at the sea's edge on the Purbeck coast. The Purbeck stone extracted from this quarry would be loaded into barges brought in close to the cliffs at high tide, then shipped along the coast to the various destination ports. The photographs shown here follow a typical outing to the ledge, late on a showery day in early May. Starting at the small hamlet of Acton (SY 990 785) the route follows the Priest's Way briefly then descends southwards over the fields to Dancing Ledge (SY 998 769). The return route follows the coastal path westwards for a short distance, before ascending onto Purbeck once more to the village of Worth Matravers (SY 973 774).

095-01 Dancing Ledge 095-02 Dancing Ledge 095-03 Dancing Ledge 095-04 Dancing Ledge 095-05 Dancing Ledge
095-06 Dancing Ledge 095-07 Dancing Ledge 095-08 Dancing Ledge 095-09 Dancing Ledge 095-10 Dancing Ledge
To view any image full size - simply click on the thumbnail

In 1786 the East Indiaman Halsewell was bound for Bengal when it foundered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff between Winspit (SY 976 761) and Seacombe (SY 984 766), many lives were lost. The Halsewell is just one of many hundred wrecks to be found along the Dorset coast, a number of which have been studied by marine archaeologists.


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In the top row of pictures:

  • Limestone barn off the Priest's Way, near Acton (picture)
  • Dancing Ledge quarry (picture)
  • Dancing Ledge quarry (picture)
  • Coastal cliffs between Dancing Ledge and Seacombe Cliff (picture)
  • Climbers in one of the many disused quarries to be found along this part of the coast (picture)

In the bottom row of pictures:

  • Looking westwards along the coast, the strip lynchets on West Man visible in the distance (picture)
  • Looking eastwards along the coast path (picture)
  • Looking eastwards along the coast path (picture)
  • Worth Matravers village pond (picture)
  • Sculpture at The Square and Compass Inn, Worth Matravers (picture)

Worth Matravers and this section of the coast also feature in the monthly galleries October 2002 and April 2003

Nearby locations that also feature in galleries on this site:

directionCorfe Castle

directionSwanage and Durlston Head

directionChapman's Pool, Kimmeridge Bay

More views of Dorset in May

Other sites on the web

The coastline shown here forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

The Nautical Archaeology Society:   links to the Halsewell Archaeological Group and news about other archaeological work along the Dorset coast.

West's Geology Field Guide to the St. Aldhelm's Head to Durlston Head area

The Dorset Page:   Langton Matravers – local information and links to further resources on the web

Maps of the area on streetmap.co.uk:   1:50,000 – detail, 1:250,000 – locality and route to get there

picture resolution
The pictures of Dancing Ledge in this gallery were captured at high resolution.
This is images of dorset stock photography gallery 095
All photographs copyright © 1998–2003 John Allen

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