Worth Matravers is a very picturesque Purbeck village centred around a village green with a duckpond.
Like many Purbeck villages, Worth Matravers limestone cottages Ideal base to explore the South West Coast Path and the Jurassic Coast.
Within easy walking distance are some rocky, unspoilt beaches all suitable for bathing, such as Chapman’s Pool, an idyllic but hard-to-access cove with an extraordinary amount of fossils. Also nearby is the most southerly tip of Purbeck, St Aldhelm’s Head. St Aldhelm was a 7th century Anglo-Saxon monk who reluctantly became the first Bishop of Sherbourne.
Nearby is a striking stainless steel monument, resting on a plinth made of Purbeck stone, erected in 2001 to commemorate the development of radar technology carried out by the Telecommunications Research Establishment based at RAF Worth Matravers during the Second World War. Radar technology, developed to warn of impending invasion, proved crucial to the Allied victory.
The local church, St Nicholas, is a well preserved Norman church built around 1100 AD.
Attractions in Worth Matravers…
There are also Mesolithic and Neolithic flint tools found in Dorset, as well as some Bronze Age and Romano British items such as axe fragments, potsherds, coins, brooches, and buckles.
There are several 18th Century shipwreck bits, mainly from the Halswell, which went down at Seacombe cliffs in 1786.
Charlie decided to create the Stonehenge replica out of leftover tree trunks from two 25ft Monterey pine trees, and was completed in time for the summer solstice in 2015.
This amazing and popular structure is 10 metres wide and 3.5 metres high, weighing about 35 tonnes.
One of the most interesting features is a 12th century corbel table running under the roofline. The corbels are carved with an array of figures including a musician playing a harp, a rabbit, a bird, and a running animal.
The trail was once used by Smugglers who under the cover of darkness would store their smuggled goods in the hidden caves and tunnels.
There are spectacular sea cliffs and a secrete cove along the way. It’s about 3 miles in length and takes about 3 hours.
From the farm car park about half a mile west of Worth Matravers there is a two mile round walk across a flat farm field and then down a steep track down to the bay.
The cliffs are made of a black shale that is eroding away, which makes it easy to hunt fossils such as ammonites and bivalves. On the rocky beach you can just have a picnic sitting amongst the rocks or sun bathe if weather permitting!
The striking but tiny 12th-century chapel on the Head is dedicated to the saint and probably gave the Head its name. After the chapel you'll see a white 'lookout' building manned by the National Coastwatch Institution.
To the east of the Head is the memorial, unveiled in 2001 by Sir Bernard Lovell, to radar (see notes above).
Eating out in Worth Matravers…
Getting to Worth Matravers…
Church Knowle is a 19 minute drive from Wareham. There is also a regular bus service by the No. 40 Purbeck Breezer (timetable here) from Wareham.