The Geography Department





Old Harry Rocks, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset   April 1996











Old Harry Rocks on multimap

Ian West's Old Harry pages


More photographs from 24 October 2001



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 & 24 Oct 2001

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



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A general view of Old Harry Rocks from Ballard Down in late afternoon light at Easter. The progressive erosion of the headland can be seen, from the caves etched out at the waterline, to the enlarged hollows on the main stack, and eventually the detached, vertical, slim sea stack. Beyond the stacks is an area of wave-cut platform, exposed at this low tide.


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A close-up of part of the above picture, with further detail to be seen of the undercutting, the chalk structure and the pedestal created by the wave-cut notch. The shallowness, and clarity, of the waters around the headland also show up.


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This view, from the north-east, shows the headland and, more notably, its wave-cut platform. Long hours about sea level has left this platform with a greenish tinge. My wife cynically says it's probably the fertilising influence of sewage from Swanage! (allegedly)


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Basically the same shot, without the artistic foreground! A good indicator of the last rockfall in any one place is, of course, its lack of vegetation, or otherwise. Clearly, some part of the stack have not been eroded for some time. Sub-aerial processes have had long enough to affect the cliff top.


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A tight-shot of the above view; the chalk debris scattered around the wave-cut platform is more easily viewed. 


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Old Harry Rocks, 24 October, 2001



From Studland Bay, Old Harry rocks are just visible. The cliffs are more vegetated on the eastern side of the headland.


A small beach at the sheltered foot of the cliff.


Looking back towards Studland village from the headland.


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The Old Harry Rocks from the east.



The wave-cut platform can be seen from this side of the headland.


A detail from the photo to the left.

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The contrast in vegetation cover is clearly seen here. The higher wave-energy from the south-west probably keeps the cliffs more actively eroding  on that side.


A closer detail of the cliff foot.




The approach to the headland is by a narrow and winding path, with excellent views vertically down on both sides!


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The Pinnacles; stacks eroded from the highest part of the chalk escarpment of Ballard Down. Looking from Old Harry Rocks towards Swanage.


The Pinnacles again.



One of the Pinnacles, with a small beach at yen foot of the chalk cliffs.


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The full extent of the Old Harry Rocks.

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A detail from the shot above, showing how the sea has opened up a cleft and enlarged it to form a cave.


The chalk stack, arch and some wave-cut platform.


The same shot as shown to the left, but with waves breaking.

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Old Harry map from Streetmap