Langton Matravers is a pretty, rural village located 2 miles west of Swanage town centre.
The name Langton originates from ‘Long town’ and Matravers from the name of Lord Mautravers who onced lived there. There are many good footpaths to explore the Purbeck countryside and Jurassic Coast World Heritage sites.
The area around the village is also known for its quarrying industry. Purbeck stone has been used as a traditional building and paving material since Roman times and has been used in the construction of many cathedrals in Britain. Stone was transported to other parts of the country via ‘Dancing Ledge’ just south of the village where the sea off the ledge is deep enough for small ships to approach.
Langton Matravers has a museum dedicated to telling the story of Purbeck limestone. The museum is located in a former Coach House and shows how the local stone was quarried and used. Exhibitions include an audio-visual story of Purbeck stone, as well as an exhibition of items included apprentice pieces and stonemasons’ tools.
There is also the Burngate Stone Carving Centre a few minutes from the village where you can even try out stone carving for yourself.
Attractions in Langton Matravers…
Langton Matravers, Dorset. BH19 3BE
Tel: 01929 439 405
More than 100 fossilised tracks are preserved in a flat layer of rock at Keates Quarry, probably made by brachiosaurs, the largest land animals that ever lived.
Located at: High Street, Langton Matravers, BH19 3EU.
Telephone: 01929 422917
The cliffs above the ledge are a popular climbing location, with a small cliff close to the sea, and a larger limestone cliff set back above this. Note that a little scrambling is required for access. There is a National Trust car park south of the village.