Posted by: Rose | February 28, 2009

In the beginning…

This was the day that set all this rock m’larky in motion again.

I’d just got back from a week sea kayaking in Barra and I immediately jumped at the chance of a trip off the Purbeck coast. We set off from Kimmeridge Bay and (should I really admit this?) I was excited at the prospect of seeing the Kimmeridge Clay. I’d never seen it before, but knew that it was a Type Section*!

Portland Stone in the sun

Portland Stone in the sun. Photo by Mark Rainsley.

The sun was shining and as we paddled east on our journey to Swanage, I got to traverse upwards through the geology of the Isle of Purbeck. As the rocks are sloping (dipping) to the east, younger and younger rocks appear in the cliffs as you paddle eastwards. Easy!

* Basically means that any exposure of the Kimmeridge Clay is called this, regardless of whether it’s located in Kimmeridge or not. Not every small village gets to name a rock.



  1. Hi Dr. G.

    Nice blog. Wasn’t there a small oilfield, complete with nodding donkeys, at Kimmeridge Bay? Is it still there? Being in the same boat (so to speak) I remember the Wessex Basin from an old petroleum geology field-trip. If that is your paddling ground you’ll have lots of rocks to blog about.

    Cheers, Dr. S (Steve)

    • Hi Steve
      Apparently the donkey is still there; I’ll have to keep an eye open next time I go there.

      Dorset, Devon and S.Wales are all about equal distance for me, so hopefully should have some fantastic trips to look forward to…

      Cheers, Liz

      Kimmeridge Donkey

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