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.