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Chesil Beach

This is a shingle ridge that connects the massive lump of limestone known as Portland to the rest of Dorset. It stretches for a total of 18 miles (29 kms), is up to 60 feet (18 metres) high and has created a salt-water lagoon, known as The Fleet, between itself and the mainland. At the far western end of The Fleet is the famous Abbotsbury Swannery.

A strange feature of Chesil Beach is that the pebbles that comprise it are graded in size, from “duck eggs” at the eastern end to “marrowfat peas” at the western end. Experiments have been done that demonstrate the process by which this happens – marked large pebbles will eventually be transported by the sea from west to east by the process of “longshore drift”.

The material that comprises Chesil Beach may have originated in landslides at the end of the last Ice Age, after which the sea gradually pushed the eroded material onshore. Chesil Beach has probably been in its present position about four or five thousand years.

This is a place that I have been to many times and I know this view well, although this photo is not mine, but taken from a copyright-free source.

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Written by Indexer

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    • The community is Fortuneswell, which is the largest settlement on Portland. Most of the streets have terraced houses on both sides, mostly built in Victorian times to house workers on the naval dockyard. They don’t look so crowded when you are down among them.

      You can see two stretches of water on the photo, although they are connected. In the far distance is The Fleet, and on the right is Portland Harbour. A causeway was built to take the road and railway across to the mainland, and this forms the division that you can see.

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