This panorama, taken from the bottom of Stair Hole, shows the famous Lulworth Crumple rock formation. It is amazing to think what processes and power must have been needed to fold these rocks into the 'S' shapes exposed in the crumple. I remember clambering around here as a child, but today Stair Hole and the Lulworth Crumple are fenced off and access is restricted. Of course, one day Stair Hole and the Lulworth Crumple will disappear into the sea in a natural, but often resisted, process of recycling.
Stair Hole - Lulworth Crumple - Lulworth visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Stair Hole - Lulworth Crumple' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Dorset.
Stair Hole at Lulworth is world famous in geography text books for the Lulworth Crumple, a uniquely folding limestone strata in which the layers of rock are sharply twisted at an incline and fold back on themselves. Aside from Lulworth Cove itself, the area is also famous for Durdle Door and the Fossil Forrest. Stair Hole and Lulworth are part of the Jurassic Coast, and has been declared a World Heritage Site. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Stair Hole is a younger version of Lulworth Cove, showing how the latter may have looked a few hundred thousand years ago as the sea first penetrated the hard limestone. Facing the sea are thin layers of Portland Limestone and Purbeck Limestone. Behind these is a thicker layer of clay. At Stair Hole the sea has eroded the limestone to form an arch and gap in the cliffs and has begun to carve out a small cove in the clay behind. Gradually, over the next hundred thousand years, this would enlarge to form a second cove similar to Lulworth except that it is so close that they would merge.
There is a good write up on the Geology of Stair Hole with a well done labelled picture of the rock formations.
Lulworth Heritage Centre (Tourist Information Centre)
Tel 01929 400587
Lulworth and Lulworth Cove is on the south coast of Dorset, about 18 miles west of Swanage (A531, then B3070 roads), and 15 miles east of Weymouth (A 353, then A 352, turn left onto Water Land and High Street).