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Around the Old Lower Lighthouse

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68068509LRThis part of the Portland Coastal path includes the Lower Lighthouse which is now a bird observatory.

Another feature was a rock stack which had been significantly eroded by the force of nature such that it fell during a violent storm in January 2014. Its destruction made the national news

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THE OLD LOWER LIGHTHOUSE

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Here is the lower lighthouse seen in 1990. This lighthouse was opened on 29th September 1716 but was rebuilt several times during which the coal fire was replaced as the first lighthouse lamp with an Argand Lens - basically the same as used today in lighthouses worldwide.

A very thorough article about this lighthouse can be found here.

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By carefully positioning myself relative to the sun for the above photograph I was able to make it appear as if the lighthouse was once more shining out to guide navigators.

The original lighthouse was built in 1716 and was decommissioned in 1906 when the main lighthouse was opened in 1906. In the 1920s it became the “Longstone Ope Tea Rooms and Gardens” as seen in the picture below.

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In 1961 the lower lighthouse was opened by Sir Peter Scott as a bird observatory - read about its history and work here.

BEACH HUTS

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Beach huts change hands at quite surprising prices. This is because of the modern strict planning regulations which were not in force when the owners originally placed their huts at Portland Bill. For example, in February 2010 a beach hut was offered for sale at 45,000 and prices have shot up since then.

RUBBISH TIPPING - A WAY OF PORTLAND LIFE?

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I once asked an old local why so much rubbish was dumped into old quarries - like this one close to the Lower Lighthouse. "What else can you do with old quarries?" was the answer.

Unfortunately, Portland is strewn with rubbish with flytipping a way of life for some of the inhabitant.

Why do some people go to so much trouble to transport beds, mattresses and machinery to remote beauty spots and dump them when it would be cheaper and easier to go to the local community rubbish tip?

POM POM ROCK

There is a solitary rock about 500 metres north-east of Portland Bill which has, over the past two decades, provided a rare opportunity to see coastal erosion at work on this relatively stable coastline. There is a dramatic movie here by Stuart Morris showing the storm that destroyed Pom Pom Rock.

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This picture shows the power of a storm in 1989 when this tower of rock split apart. Since then it has been breaking further into pieces. The following pictures record its demise in 2014 over the two intervening decades.

 For an even more boring sequence of pictures (Yes! That's possible!) please click here.

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AUGUST 2004

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JULY 2006

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FEBRUARY 2010

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FEBRUARY 2010

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FEBRUARY 2010

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AUGUST 2010

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JANUARY 2012

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JANUARY 2014

The demolishing of Pom Pom Rock by the tremendous storms in January 2014 made the national media - see here.

A FOSSIL TREE STUMP

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As you stand looking at the site of the broken rock stack you may turn left and see a hole in the strata.

This is where a fossilised tree trunk has fallen out in pre-historic times.

This picture illustrates the difference in nature of the Portland Beds which exist to about 18 inches (half a metre) above the hole.

Above this boundary is the Purbeck Beds - a much more fragmented jumble of rocks at this point.

 

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