Fenella is (apparently) a character from a Walter Scott novel based around Peel Castle, on the Isle of Man. The tombolo beach connecting the castle to the island’s mainland is called Fenella Beach, and a wooden carving of Fenella overlooks the beach.
Last pic (of Yours Truly) from Lizzie Garnett…
Verity is a rather large sculpture by controversial artist Damien Hirst; she looms tall over the quayside in Ilfracombe Harbour in North Devon. What the photos don’t show well, is that her seaward side is cut away, revealing her innards and unborn child.
I have no idea what any of this ‘means’, but I like Verity…as do most local folk, seemingly.
This ‘ship’ is hidden away in a quiet corner of disused Tout Quarry, on the Isle of Portland. Every time we visit, we discover something new.
Last weekend we returned to our new favourite Dorset coastal post-industrial landscape cum art installation, Tout Quarry on the Isle of Portland.
This fellow at Flamborough Head in Yorkshire is easily the best six foot tall wooden carved gannet that we’ve ever seen.
Sadly, he was alone; we were too late in the season for the 1000s of gannets who usually live nearby at Bempton Cliffs.
Tout Quarry is one of numerous similar quarried out wastelands, high above the cliffs of the Isle of Portland in Dorset. It has however been utilised as a ‘Sculpture Park’. We visited, one recent evening.
The place is a mess. It’s location is barely signposted, and finding it requires a leap of faith by exploring behind an industrial estate and up a back alley, with no parking. The only information sign seems to have been defaced years ago; who knows what (if anything) it had to say. The visitor is reduced to wandering lost amongst vast overgrown heaps of rubble which would almost certainly fail any ‘Health and Safety’ test you could devise. Finding and interpreting sculptures is a lottery; none are labelled and all are located randomly. There is apparently an Antony Gormley in there somewhere, but we couldn’t find it (or maybe we lacked the aesthetic sensibilities to recognise it). Tout Quarry is an embarrassment to Dorset.
We loved it.
Durlston Head near Swanage is the point where the committing cliffed section of the Purbeck coast begins, my favourite paddle! On top of the headland is Durlston Country Park. The mock castle and its grounds were the brainchild of George Burt, a partner in the very successful Mowlem stonemason company of Swanage. The quarried stone from the local cliffs – so-called ‘Purbeck Marble’ – supported a profitable but demanding industry, with massive blocks loaded directly onto barges at the base of the cliffs.
A true philanthropic Victorian, Burt seems to have embraced the ‘Rational Recreation’ movement which strove to provide open spaces, education and self-improvement for the unenlightened masses. The park has many carvings of poetry verses on display, and helpfully has a rather large map to demonstrate what lies over the sea’s horizon. The ‘map’ is the Great Globe, a 40 ton sculpture made in several sections from locally quarried stone. The bollards which surround it are actually from London’s streets, used as ballast by ships returning from delivering stone for the capital’s great buildings.
The stone industry continues in Purbeck, but the coastal quarries are all silent now.