One of my favourite places in Dorset when I am walking is Church Ope Cove on Portland. It is one of those places that has a real air of mystery about it, almost as if there is something sinister in its past and it is partly because of the somewhat quirky things around it. The picture below was taken on a walk last week and was an attempt to capture something of the mystery of the place but in reality it needs a more dark mood really to do it ‘justice’. It is a long exposure shot creating a misty blur as the waves roll over the pebbles and stones.
In fact the beach is said to be sandy – it only became a stony beach because of the debris left from the quarrying industry, with the effect of the tide rounding the stones. Apart from a great stony beach, the cove also has the ruined Rufus Castle (also known as Bow and Arrow Castle), dating from the Norman era and standing proud on a rock promontory overlooking the cove; the newer Pennsylvania Castle, once the home of John Penn, grandson of the founder of the state of Pennsylvania, and friend of King George iii; the ruined St Andrew’s Church part way down the cliff, once the main place of worship for Portlanders but ruined by landslips and invasion by French pirates; the pirates graveyard beside the church including gravestones with the skull and crossbones; John Penn’s Bath, also partly down the cliffs (to save having to climb all the way down to the cove to bathe, John Penn had a stone bath carved near the top of the cliffs and instructed his servants to carry sea water up from the cove in buckets to fill it for his use); an underground reservoir, said to date from Roman times; relics from a thriving fishing industry; beach huts with stone front garden walls; and more! You can see why this place has a mysterious atmosphere!
An old doorway at the ruined St Andrew’s Church.
Church Ope Cove is a place I love the visit and explore with my camera!
Thanks for visiting.
The Dorset Rambler
Fantastic photography as ever.