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Yeolands Quarry, Jurassica and Durdle Pier

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70071518LRYeolands Quarry ‘A’ is a disused quarry which could be transformed into ‘Jurassica’ - the 84 million recreation of a Jurassic environment.

The flat area alongside the cliff edge ‘B’ is the curiously named Shepherd’s Dinner.

Durdle Pier ‘C’ lost its crane in the 2014 storm. There are fishermen's huts at the water's edge.

West Weares ‘D’ is an old disused quarry from which Sir Christopher Wren took stone to rebuild St Paul’s Cathedral after The Great Fire of 1666.

The abandoned railway line from Weymouth to Easton hugs the foot of the cliffs ‘E’,

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Please use this table to navigate around this page

A

YEOLANDS QUARRY AND JURASSICA

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B

SHEPHERD’S DINNER

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C

DURDLE PIER

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C

WORLD WAR 2 PILLBOXES

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E

ABANDONED RAILWAY TRACK

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YEOLANDS QUARRY AND JURASSICA

An informative article by Ashley Smith about Yeolands Quarry can be read here.

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This panoramic scan around Yeolands Quarry produced about ten years ago shows the area on the left where Jurassica may be built - please see the Jurassica website here.

There was still some ecosystem left in the middle of the picture which has now been buried under huge quantities of waste rock.

The picture below was taken in 1989 in the far left end of the quarry seen above. I set the camera on a ten second delay and ran to get to pose against the far wall to give an indication of the depth of this vast hole. Unfortunately, despite several attempts, I never quite reached the wall before the camera shutter fired - hence I have my back to the camera.
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Taken in 1995, this picture shows Yeolands Quarry before much of it was filled with stone waste. That is my best friend Sandy in the quarry who volunteered to provide a scale to show the huge size of this hole.

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In the late 1980s the central bottom area of the quarry had a unique ecosystem where small ponds were fed by rivulets. This damp environment hosted many types of reeds, grasses and even newts - how they got they I do not know.

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This picture shows the bottom ecosystem of Yeolands Quarry in 2007. This is now all buried deep under rubble.

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Jurassica will be built in the part of the quarry shown here with the entrance buildings and shop on the far side.

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A panoramic sweep of Yeolands Quarry in 2015 showing the Youth Offenders Institution in the far distance.

SHEPHERD’S DINNER

Shepherd’s Dinner is the curious name for the area running along the top of the cliffs south of the Youth Offenders Institution and along the eastern side of Yeolands Quarry.

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This picture shows that Portland can show a good display of colour at the right time of year. This picture from 1989 shows brilliant flowers on Shepherd’s Dinner looking towards Yeoland’s Quarry which is where the cranes are working.

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I take a rest on a convenient stone block whilst walking along the cliff edge by Shepherds Dinner.

DURDLE PIER

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I took this picture in about 1995. I sent it to the Dorset Echo and they published it spread over half a page which pleased me enormously. This was in the days of slide film and long before Photoshop was around to turn indifferent pictures into works of art.

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This was the scene after the devastating storms that ravaged Portland early in 2014. No sign of the historic old crane apart from a wooden spar laying nearby.

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The crane had been totally destroyed with most of the huge spars thrown up well above the high water line along the coast by the southern salt pan.

Not only did the waves carry the huge wooden spars along the coast but they tossed them over the pebble bank and then up into the vegetation beyond the salt pans.

These next four pictures show the scene of devastation further north up the coast.

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These next pictures show what little remains of the old crane on its original site.

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This picture from the early 1990s shows one of many fishermen’s huts. By this time they were mostly abandoned.

What amazed me was that fishermen would make the long and strenuous walk down to Durdle Pier from the cliff which tower over this area just to go fishing. However, if that was their livelihood then it had to be done.

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The same scene in 2015 - abandonment and dereliction.

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Steps to nowhere...

WORLD WAR 2 PILLBOXES

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For decades I had believed that this structure near Durdle Pier was a shelter for quarry workers to use during bad weather. This was, with hindsight, unlikely as this area was quarried over 300 years ago to provide stone for Sir Christopher Wren’s rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

In fact it is one of two World War 2 pillboxes built in the early 1940s to defend this part of the Portland coast.

There are informative articles on these pillboxes here for the coastal one and here for the inland one.

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Copyright Ashley Smith

This photograph, kindly provided by Ashley Smith, shows both pillboxes in the same view.

ABANDONED RAILWAY TRACK AND SEWER PIPELINE

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Alongside the abandoned railway track is a huge pipeline that carried Portland’s sewerage to Wyke Regis on the mainland where it is treated and discharged into Lyme Bay.

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Oh No! Underground Mutton Alert!

 

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Keywords Jurassica Durdle Pier Dorset