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Silklake Quarry

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69571503LRSilklake Quarry lies to the east of Wakeham and dominates this area.

To the south of the area is Bumpers Lane which has been much used as the way into the quarry.

To the east Silklake merges into the area known as Shepherd’s Dinner. How this latter area got its curious name is not known to me.

Silklake Quarry was, in recent decades, used for the production of crushed stones but production has now moved north East and access to this area is now via Grove Road rather than Bumpers Lane.

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Only a very small part of Wakeham falls into this area and this is the junction with Bumpers Lane seen in the extreme bottom left corner of the aerial picture above.

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This old picture shows a view north up Wakeham towards Straits. Bumpers Lane would be on the right-hand side of the road.

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This bomb damage was in Bumpers Lane in 1940.

For decades the traction engines and then later the lorries accessed Silklake Quarry from Wakeham through Bumpers Lane. This caused great disruption for local residents. Stone dust and small debris would be scattered on the roads and pavements and the dust would blow into gardens soiling washing and getting into houses.

Complaints by residents to the stone company were ignored with all the disdain characterised by the Portland stone industry towards local people until well into the late 1980s.

It was not until a local bye-law was introduced forcing stone lorries to have their loads covered with dust sheets that this nuisance was stopped in the 1990s.

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At the entrance to Silklake Quarry stands a carved head as shown above in my 1990 photograph. The origin of this carving is not known.

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Twenty-five years on and the grass has grown higher but the carved head is still there.

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Just inside the entrance to the quarry is a weighbridge and and reception office. A public right of way heads north through the gap in the brambles just beyond the disused weighbridge.

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Obviously the ‘Reception’ area has been disused for a long time.

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The ‘tag’ of the ‘Portland Bois’ gang on a building in Bumpers Lane.

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During the late 1980s these buildings and machinery were being dismantled and removed. This shows the crushing plant shortly before its removal in July 1989.

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Part of the stone crushing equipment awaiting destruction.

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Two of my children examine a huge stone moving vehicle in Silklake Quarry in 1990 when the quarry was being abandoned.

A fissure in the Silklake Quarry has produced archaeological materials including several human skeletons - see here.

 

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Keywords Bumpers Lane Silklake Quarry Dorset