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Durdle Dor (or Door)

A mile or so west of Lulworth Cove is another example of the power of the sea in eroding ancient rocks. The narrow band of limestone that once stretched along the whole coastline juts across a small bay, and a large hole has been cut through this outcrop to form a perfect example of a sea arch.

In calm weather it is possible to swim or canoe through the arch, or it can be admired from the shingle beach nearby, especially when the evening sun catches the Dor’s inner walls.

The name Durdle comes from Old English “thirl”, which means “to pierce”, and “pierced door” sounds like a perfect description.

(The photo has been taken from a copyright-free source)

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    • I gather that there were never more than eight apostles there – at least in historical times!

      Yes – the process takes many thousands of years, with the weaker parts being eroded first – or those parts that are more exposed. In Dorset, there was once a continuous band of limestone that was been eroded in various stages – arches eventually collapse to leave stacks which in turn are worn down to leave rocks that are visible only at low tide – which can be seen in Worbarrow Bay just next to Durdle Dor. In places, holes are punched though as at Stair Hole and Lulworth Cove – there would once have been other coves along the coast.

      The process is faster with chalk than limestone, but the same stages can be seen, as at the Old Harry Rocks not far east of here.

      This coast is the only place in the world where you can see the whole development of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks in one uninterrupted sequence. I was very fortunate to have grown up and been educated here, with such excellent geology lessons right on my doorstep!

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