View looking west at Seatown beach, Dorset, England, showing rip-rap sea defences in foreground

The cliffs are eroding in many places along the Dorset coast, particularly where the rocks are soft. This results in land slips and mud slides. It has always been going on but in recent years the erosional processes seem to have accelerated along with changing weather conditions. At Seatown on the coast near Chideock in Dorset, large boulders have been imported to protect the shore from the sea adjacent to the Anchor Inn that sits at the mouth of the River Char. I cannot name the rock types represented in the rip-rap for certain since they are not local to the area and have been chosen specifically because they are harder and more resistant than the cliffs on this beach. I am not even sure that they were quarried in Britain. However, some of them remind me a lot of Carboniferous limestone with fossils, calcite and haematite inclusions. Anyway, they are really interesting and well worth a closer look. The patterns, colours, and textures are amazing. I would like to visit again when the rocks are wet and the more subtle colour variations would be highlighted.

6 Replies to “Rip-Rap Rocks at Seatown”

  1. Wow! Some of those are spectacular, especially the ones with vivid red/orange and white. I wonder where they came from? I have never heard the term ‘rip-rap’ before!

  2. It is quite difficult to find out where the rocks came from. They are massive, some a couple of metres high and across, weighing more than a ton. They might have come from a British quarry but further west along the Dorset coast at Lyme Regis, rocks were imported from Norway to enhance the sea wall defences at the end of The Cobb.

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