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Bowers Quarries

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Bowers Quarry has gradually extended south towards the sprawling Weston Estate. There are many old tramway remains between the quarry and the cliff edge.

Bowers Quarry is one of the few working quarries on Portland and has been used to pioneer the use of horizontal mineshafts to extract Portland Stone.

A comprehensive history of this quarry written by Ashley Smith can be read here.

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BOWERS QUARRY

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THE ‘MEMO’ PROJECT

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ANOTHER OF MY HOBBIES

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BOWERS QUARRY

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These pictures show the experimental mine being created. These pictures were taken during a visit to the mine on an Open Day in 2005.

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Checking the roof for movement.

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Above small cubic crystallised entities are embedded in the stone.

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The Portland and Purbeck beds which make up the overwhelming mass of the Isle of Portland were formed about 130 - 140 million years ago in shallow tropical lagoons when the land was at about 38 degrees north of the equator. For a brief time during the laying down of the Purbeck bed the sea level fell and the seabed dried out. This allowed a thin layer of soil to form, as seen above, and plants and trees grew.

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A wonderful mass of fossils displayed at Bowers Quarry. These were variously known as 'Osses 'Eads (because the bivalve Myophorella looked a little like a horse's head to quarrymen) and Portland Screws - a conical gastropod.

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The working quarry.

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An abandoned explosives magazine on the edge of Bowers Quarry.

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THE MASS EXTINCTION MEMORIAL OBSERVATORY (MEMO)

A site near the western boundary of Bowers Quarry, shown approximately on the above map, had been allocated to build the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO). This construction costing 30 million was intended to be in the shape of a conical tower inside which visitors could walk on a spiral exhibition illustrating representations of some of the species that have gone extinct on Earth since the Dodo was driven to extinction about 350 years ago. Some 860 species would have been represented in the visitor attraction.

However, since the collapse in 2017 of the proposed 80 million Jurassica Project on the East of Portland, it has now been decided to combine MEMO with elements that would have been in the Jurassica theme park and call the downscaled scheme “The Journey” - please click here for more details.

Instead of a huge conical building on the western cliffs of Portland, “The Journey” will be 40 metres underground inside an abandoned mine. Visitors will walk through a Jurassic “Rain Forest”.

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ANOTHER OF MY HOBBIES

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Age of 75 I started a new hobby - writing and publishing books. These are available as paperbacks from Amazon - please click here for details. Their overall star rating from readers is Four Stars

 

 

Keywords Bowers Quarry Portland Dorset