Posts Tagged ‘Studland’

Old Harry Rocks

September 21, 2015

I suppose this post could be about my dad – who was called Harry – sitting in a rocking chair. But it isn’t. The Old Harry Rocks are a cliff formation near Studland on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. And for those who don’t know, the Isle of Purbeck isn’t an island. It is a peninsula.

And it is a great place for a chalk lover like me to get to. There are no roads nearer than a mile away but there’s a footpath which a disabled person was getting along on a mobility vehicle. So a good view of the rocks is accessible but a one mile walk puts many people off and makes it all the more likely that those who do go there will chat and be friendly.

Let’s start with what I regard as an ugly fast ferry passing by the end of the Harry headland as it approaches Poole Harbour.


image004And then look at a bit of chalkland flora


Old Harry Rocks belong to the National Trust. In the background you see the western end of the Isle of Wight.


The cliffs near Old Harry are quite high. The people up on top give some scale.


And there, just separated from the mainland is a new Old Harry.


In the opposite direction there are a couple of stacks.


The nearer one is providing a perch for a black backed gull and a cormorant.


In past times, the maps tell us, there was Old Harry and also Old Harry’s wife. The wife got worn away and the stack we see here is the real Old Harry.


Erosion continues as the action of moving sea and trapped air enlarge cracks and then produce arches as seen in the above photo. In time more will fall in this continually changing landscape.

Architectural Curios

March 28, 2014

I like architectural curios. I think I mean by that I like features or whole buildings, with or without a real purpose, where efforts have been made to make things interesting for the observer.

I recently came across the corbel table at Studland Church, down on the Dorset Coast near Swanage. Actually, we had gone to Swanage, but when there we realised there was a good bus service to Studland (and beyond) and as we are of the bus pass generation we decided we’d go to Studland, take a walk there and then come back. Studland is a place where you pay quite a bit to park. This way we could leave the car in Swanage where, in winter months you can park cheaply.

And that may have left you wondering what a corbel table is for long enough. It isn’t a table to sit at and eat off. It is, actually, the support for a roof. Some churches have gone in for carvings of all sorts to help support the roof and Studland is one of them,


That gives the idea. Plain lumps of stone could have been used, but why not make them decorative.


There are faces – human and others.


Some portray activities you might not expect on a church.


That’s as far as I’ll go, but other carvings are (or were when new) grossly vulgar.

Of course, these carvings had a purpose – warning of sins and dangers.

Some might say the church is a little austere.


You have to look for the details to realise it has architectural curios and is a work of art.