This was our third hike on the South West Coast Path, this time setting out west of Swanage. It was a dry cloudy day with panoramic views of the rugged ocean and rolling agricultural lands.
The Purbeck area contained many quarries, some very small. The quarried rock was used in London for buildings such as the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Some of the stone came back from London, used as ballast on barges, and some was then used for the front of the town hall building in Swanage. The centre of the town hall facade was designed by a student of Christopher Wren.
Built in 1882, with the frontage originally from a building built in 1670 was transported from London.
On to the trail.
At the beginning of our hike, we came upon a group of volunteers who were dismantling a dry masonry examination site moving it to a new site for testing new stone fence builders.
Some of the oldest stone fences in Scotland date back 3,500 years.
For the MacDonalds, lighthouses have a special meaning. Heather’s grandfather was a lighthouse keeper in Cape Breton, and her father also spent some time as a lighthouse keeper.
Notice that at the wood fence has steps to enable hikers to go over it, and the same is true for the stone fence with stone steps. In Britain there are special provisions for walking paths that make it a criminal offence to block them and the law provides special access to private lands to provide for pathways.
Purbeck and the surrounding area provided much of the stone for London buildings including the Houses of Parliament. The cave in this hill is a former stone quarry. The Tilley Whim Caves are part of three stone quarries constructed during the Napoleonic War.
The initial portion of this fence has stones at about a 45° angle, whilst the second portion of the fence has stones that are horizontal.
Heading back to Swanage
I’ve said it before – but the trees of the UK have been one of the great unexpected surprises, with unrivaled beauty.
How would you like this for your home? Originally the Waterworks building for Swanage, this was purchased and redeveloped as a home. It is our idea of a tasteful, beautiful home Link to the newspaper story: Swanage Waterworks