Sea, Sun and Aliens – Winspit Quarry

There’s a definite other-worldly feeling to Winspit Quarry, cut into the edge of the tempestuous Dorset coast. Fittingly then the place has been used as a filming location for two classic British sci-fi series, Blakes 7 and Dr Who.

The quarry was used as the location for the planet Mecron II in the Blake’s 7 episode “Games”. In Doctor Who they were used twice, once in “The Underwater Menace”, and as the planet Skaro in the “Destiny of the Daleks”.

The area where Winspit sits was once home to hundreds of quarries during the eighteenth century, most of which are now abandoned. The stone was highly prized for buildings in London. The stone cut at Winspit out and under the cliffs, was transported down to Swanage by sea.

In 1940 the quarry was used as a naval and air base. After the war, a couple of it’s caves were opened privately, but most are now closed off for safety reasons and to protect local bat populations.

Despite the dangers, the quarry is popular with walkers and climbers, eager to explore the somewhat precarious caves that have been dug out of the rocks. At the entrance lies a poignant memorial to a young man who evidently died near here, although there’s not much history to be found about him.

I got distinctly strange vibes from this place. It put me initially in mind of a post-apocalyptic setting, a British based Mad Max with blue painted punk warriors screaming from the cliff edges.

Or perhaps something like Morlocks are lurking inside the caves – I didn’t venture in too far just in case.

From a different angle, there could easily be a fantasy setting. Ruins from “Lord of The Rings” or a Alan Garner-esque fantasy like “Elidor” or “The Weirdstone of Brisingamen”.

What do you think? What kind of story would you write about this place? Please share in the comments.

Related reads

A Visit to Poldark Country – Cornwall

A Visit to Stonehenge

Walking in Middle Earth – Puzzlewood


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8 thoughts on “Sea, Sun and Aliens – Winspit Quarry

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  1. I’ve treked and scrambled the cliffs of the Purbecks and surrounding area most probably over 1000 times in over 30 years..its almost, as I say, my place. I tended to trek weekdays as being so much quieter…many days I would see maybe the odd person..the weather wasn’t an issue. Sun, rain, frost, mist and fog. The tranquillity and beauty obviously was on a sunny non windy day. An example; sitting on the rocks between Chapmans Pool and St Almans Head, having lunch, or on top of Ballard Down viewing Swanage,mesmerising. I’d think what a privilege.
    I could honestly write a book..in fact I was but I got involved in writing poetry for a solid 2 years..poetry for the people..stories about life on Earth..100s of subjects for all ages.. writing and publishing on DVD, magazines and journals.
    The things I have witnessed and seen from Sandbanks to Osmington near Weymouth are the extent and surrounding areas I’ve treked and cycled.
    Over the 30 plus years also involved with treking and scrambling over Snowdonia and the Lake District..often camping and Bivvying overnight.
    One story about, among many others in that particular part of the Jurassic coast is, the death of a walker walking his terrier..he got distracted by the dog on top of the quarry an fell to his death.
    The particular entrance below where he fell ive explored (with care I may add) in detail..a while after, maybe a year or so after I was filming vids and single shots inside the various entrances at Winspit. At home viewing the shots on my camera, zooming in, I came across a white fuzzy edged halo..I was astounded as there in the middle of the halo is a image of a terrier dogs face.
    I’m a great believer in ghosts and polteguise..including dark energy and matter which I believe exists during and after life..I have experienced poltergeist activity in the same afterlife.
    Only recently I’ve been observing this halo image of this terrier and intend to take to the appropriate society.

    Hope to get back to you.
    John Michael Miles

    Liked by 1 person

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