The Geography Department



Chesil Beach - Chesilton, Isle of Portland




Chapman's Pool

Chesil Beach - 1998 storms  August 2000  April 2006  April 2007

Corfe Castle


Durdle Door - April 2006  April 2007



Furzy Cliffs


Kimmeridge Bay


Lulworth Cove  Colchester VIth Form College AS Fieldwork Oct 2001

Lulworth Cove  4 April 2007 am.

Lulworth Cove  4 April 2007 pm.


Old Harry Rocks

Old Harry Rocks April 2006


Osmington Mills



Swanage beach and cliffs


West Bay harbour engineering works Feb 2004

West Bay harbour defence works, October 2004

West Bay, harbour and cliffs, August 2005

White Nothe April 2006




April 4 2007






Chesil Beach and Chiswell, with its pub and its gabion defences, left. In the centre and right shots The Fleet can be seen across the shingle beach, and part of Wyke Regis on the 'mainland', with oil storage tanks in the middle-ground.

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Detail shots of the naval base and the expanse of Portland Harbour - setting for some of the yachting races in the 2012 Olympics!

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April 2006





From the viewpoint on The Verne - marked on maps at SY 68981 73087


Looking up through Fortuneswell towards The Verne.


Overlooking Chiswell, the Cove House Inn and Chesil Beach.

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Views along the beach to West Weare - from the gabions above 'The Cove House Inn', the beach, and the promenade.

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The defences appear to be in danger of being compromised by undercutting - sheet piling is revealed.


West Weare - a landscape of fallen blocks and landslips.


A really solid sea wall, well packed with defensive shingle.

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The eastern end of Chesil Beach - and the Isle of Portland


The sea and beach at last light.


In the evening light the beach ridges are especially noticeable.

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Chesilton   August 2000




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Chesil Beach end its sweep to the south-west against the impressive limestone-topped cliffs of the Isle of Portland. Landslips of Portland Sand have covered much of the slope. The defences here are impressive, as is the drop to sea level - look at the size of the people on the beach! Behind the sea wall are buildings rising up towards the plateau of Portland, where there is a fine viewpoint. 


Gabion cages give way to recurved sea wall sections in front of the pub.




Turning back to the North-West and the expanse of shingle against an impending storm in a surreal combination. The blocks of shingle-filled gabions are in the centre, just to the left of the pub.




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Turning around 180 degrees from the shot above is a section of shingle which has been pinned down by steel matting. The view illustrates the low level of building behind the shingle, and the naval oil tanks of Portland Harbour  beyond. The facing shore is Weymouth.


From on top of the gabion castle the cliffs, pub ('The Cove House Inn') and streets beyond are all visible.


The flood gates of the defence scheme, with the houses of the town ranged behind the narrow dyke that is Chesil Beach.




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1996 storms


Chiswell showing the defences at work!

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From the top of the hill the beach and town are shown to be very close together; there is no room for retreat! The Cove House Inn is at the centre of the photograph and is also at the heart of the sea defences.


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The sea wall is a very different picture after winter storms. The dinghy was badly mailed and, indeed, holed. Heavy cobbles litter the promenade.


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Even the highest gabions have been sprinkled by thrown pebbles. Looking north-west towards the Fleet.


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The gabion mesh, similarly overtopped by pebbles, looking towards the south east.


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The sea wall has had new railings; the rusted stubs of the old showing through. The beach is marked by the dark brash line of debris and litter.


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The profile of the concrete sea wall section shows up well. Also in evidence is the firmly shut, heavy steel flood doors!


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The most telling photograph, is I believe, this one of a dinghy tied to a lamp post in the street behind the beach! 


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1:50000 map of Chesilton and the Isle of Portland

Dr Ian West - pages on Portland