Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Being a Preventive officer in the heyday of smuggling should have attracted danger money, for a risky job it most certainly was. In my previous post, I told the story of the Preventive officer who had a narrow, smoky escape after the pub landlord he was investigating tricked him into hiding in a chimney. Another Preventive officer called Lieutenant Knight met a far worse end at the famous beauty spot known as Durdle Door when he was beaten senseless by smugglers and thrown over the cliff. Further round the coast at Mupe Bay, there is a natural cave which was used to store contraband.

Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are probably Dorset’s answer to St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, in that they are almost certainly the most used images in promotional tourist material for the county. And rightly so, because they each make a striking sight: Durdle Door an almost perfect archway sticking out from the main cliff at the end of a golden beach, being formed by the weathering of the limestone which makes up this coast, and, a short distance further along the coast the near perfect horseshoe shape which is Lulworth Cove, again a product of the area’s geology. An interesting diversion can be had by walking east from Lulworth Cove along the coast path to a “Fossil Forest”. This is basically the remains of a 144-year-old Jurassic Jungle, which manifests itself as large doughnut-shaped lumps of rock. Meanwhile, for castle enthusiasts, the 17th century Lulworth Castle lies just inland from Lulworth Cove.

Map of the area.

File:Durdle Door - - 80.jpg
Durdle Door. Photo by Paul Allison, via Wikimedia Commons

Published by kind permission of Tim Baynes Art

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