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Thread: Smugglers Cave at Mupe Bay in Dorset and Fossil Forest.

  1. #1
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    Default Smugglers Cave at Mupe Bay in Dorset and Fossil Forest.


    After reading an older report from 'Cloisters' about the Smuglers cave I was motivated to get on down there and see it for myself. I started off in Lulworth Cove, took the path up the cliff, took a small detour to see the Fossil Forest and then headed to Mupe Bay where the cave is. Mupe Bay is a fantastic location for a peaceful day by the sea. Lulworth Cove is only about 1.5 miles away via a clifftop walk and was packed with tourists. The carpark must have had 300+ cars in it yet only an hour, tops, walk away you have a beautiful unspoilt bay with hardly anyone about. I spent around 2 hours in Mupe Bay and only saw about 5-6 people. Lovely!


    Lulworth Cove

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    Near the end of the Jurassic period ( around 145 million years ago) the sea levels dropped and a number of islands emerged in the Purbeck area, surrounded by saline lagoons and channels. For a short period, soil formed and a tropical forest grew up.

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    But soon the sea soon rose again and covered the forest. Algae then grew across the floor of the saltwater lagoon that had engulfed the trees. Mud stuck to the algae, accumulated into many layers, hardened into a thin limestone ring with doughnut shaped structures known as burrs where the trees once stood. This is the fossil forest that we can see today.

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    The remains are now preserved as the Fossil Forest. This provides the most complete fossilised record of a Jurassic forest in the world.

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    Trees stood here in the hollows of the doughnut shaped fossils around 145 million years ago.

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    Mupe Bay

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    First glimpse of the Smugglers Cave in the far distance.

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    A wall made from the surrounding rock fall debris was erected at the far end of the cave to provide an area of protection from the elements.

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    Smugglers would store their contraband here ( Usually kegs of wine, brandy and oilskins of tea leaves! ) and then distribute it to the local villages and towns around Dorset.

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    There was no contraband hidden in the cave unfortunately just lots of plastic bottles that have washed up in the tide.

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    Some previous visitors scribblings

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    You can see the dates more clearly in this shot

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    Looking out from the cave towards Mupe Bay

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    The outcrop of rock is called Arish rock and gives great views if you scramble up to the top.

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    Last edited by filmknight; 10th Apr 11 at 23:42.
    Pick a grid, then explore it!

  2. Thanks given by: cloisters, oldscrote, tbkscott, urban-miff
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  4. #2
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    "Brandy for the Parson,
    'Baccy for the Clerk;
    Laces for a lady, letters for a spy,
    And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!"

    Heehee. Excellent!

    I've been reading about the fossil forest, but didn't know about the smuggler's cave. Nice one. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

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    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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    Different but very enjoyable. :)
    May the shadow of Murphy never darken your door."
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    Forgotten Fairmile
    Spuds Rural Explorations
    The Church explorer

  6. #4
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    Excellent stuff! Been to Lulworth a few times but could never get my lazy arse off the beach. Great info and piccies.:)

  7. #5
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    Awesome! I felt like a Goonie reading that report (not Chunk). NICE!

  8. #6
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    Great stuff, looks like you had a good day out,

    I went underground also, too hot for me on the surface ;)

  9. #7
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    nice one! and by someone who can actually take pictures!

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloisters View Post
    nice one! and by someone who can actually take pictures!


    You’re Dead Right Cloisters,
    They were good pics, but to me any pics that the forum members take the time and bother to post are welcomed, there skill in composing the shots or the quality of their camera come a very poor second to enjoying photos of their explores.
    Well done FK
    Smiler
    😁

  11. #9
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    Great explore and pics, thanks for sharing.


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