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Mutton Cove

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This area shown on the map contains magnificent cliffs at the top of which is a World War 2 bunker and gun emplacement.

Slightly below the level of the cliff-top path is a layer of exposed rock showing fossilised ripples formed on an ancient sandy beach.

It is amazing that something so delicate could have survived over one hundred million years of geological upheavals and turmoil.

Until the 1990s the cliff top fields [1] were open and horses were tethered to stop them wandering.

Now, most of this area has been enclosed and can no longer be walked.

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COASTLINE [2]

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SHIPWRECKS

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WORLD WAR 2 LOOKOUT [3]

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FOSSIL SAND RIPPLES [4]

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FOSSIL TREES [5]

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BOOKS

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THE COASTLINE [1]

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The coastline looking south. The huge scree slope near the middle of this photograph is due to quarry spoil being tipped over the cliff.

The above picture was taken in 1990 and the lower picture in 2015. It can be seen that there has been a significant change in the cliff shapes and scree slopes. Portland is not eternal but is subject to rapid change on the geological scale.

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Looking north towards Blacknor Point

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SHIPWRECKS

Mutton Cove was a graveyard for many ships that were driven ahead of a south-westerly storm onto the rocks. The precipitous cliffs made rescue extraordinarily difficult.

Below we see pictures of just two ships that were wrecked in Mutton Cove; the German liner “Bulow” in 1943 and the Mytledene in 1945.

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.WORLD WAR 2 LOOKOUT POST

A World War 2 lookout post and the remains of a gun emplacement a little south of Blacknor Point. Some of these wartime features on Portland are being preserved as scheduled monuments.

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A World War 2 lookout post and the remains of a gun emplacement.

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Visible through the observation slit is part of the magnificent view over Lyme Bay.

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This view looks south through the rotting steel of the observation slit showing Southwell Business Park on the cliff top. Since these pictures were taken the roof has collapsed in 2014 making this a very dangerous building to enter. That didn’t stop me however!

These pictures are from February 2015.

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In 1989 these concrete blocks and a rusting steel gun mount were reminders of World War 2 fortifications. By 2002 they were gone and this field between the cliff edge and Weston's housing estate was fenced off and used by horses. [1]

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FOSSIL SAND RIPPLES

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The beautifully preserved sand ripples created over 100 million years ago when these stone layers were at sea level and continental drift was slowly carrying the land across the equator to more northerly temperate latitudes.

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FOSSIL TREE STUMPS

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On the shelf a little down the cliff (CAREFUL!) are a few fossilised trees. In fact, like the fossils on the east of the Isle, these are actually the fossilised growths that forms around the base of the tree stumps; the trees themselves having long been eroded away.

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Unfortunately, in the fifteen years since the previous picture was taken the tree boles have been used to hold fires for barbecues.

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ANOTHER OF MY HOBBIES

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In 2014 at the age of 75 I started a new hobby - writing books. These are available as paperbacks and free ebooks. 

Please click here for details. All have been very well received; so far gathering all ‘five star’ reviews apart from one ‘four star’ review.

I also have many other websites covering a wide range of interesting topics. These can be visited by clicking here.

Keywords Mutton Cove World War 2 bunker look out fossil tree fossil beach ripples Portland Dorset