Pulpit-Rock

Portland Bill’s Pulpit Rock is a coastal feature. Founded in the late 19th century, it’s one of the region’s most popular attractions.

Until the early 20th century, Portland Bill was the site of a small-scale quarry operation. A short tramway brought stones from the quarries to a shipping quay, which is now the site of the Bill Quarries. In one of these quarries was the natural stone formation known as White Hole, which was largely retained as quarrying gradually worked its surrounding cliffs.

Quarrymen removed much of White Hole in the late 19th century, leaving a stack of rock separated from the rest of Portland Bill. An enormous slab of rock leaned against it to maintain access to the top. It soon earned the name Pulpit Rock because it resembled an open Bible resting on a pulpit.

Pulpit Rock became an increasingly popular attraction for visitors to Portland Bill as quarrying at the site declined in the early 20th century. With the creation of the paved road connecting Portland Bill and the Bill-Oaks lighthouses in 1922, Pulpit Rock began to become a tourist destination.

It is one of the most photographed features of the Bill and remains one of the main attractions today. For many decades, citizens have been tombstoning at Pulpit Rock despite its dangers. Pete Hegg set the British record for a Ballan Wrasse at this spot in 1998.

Its exposed rocks are known as Snail Shore, which surrounds Pulpit Rock. During the Jurassic period, 150 million years ago, a Jurassic sea bed flourished with marine life composed of snail, oyster and mollusc shells. Pulpit Rock lies in the Portland Cherty Series (to the level of a nearby quarried platform) then the Portland Freestone (oolitic limestone), followed by the thin-bedded limestone of the Purbeck Formation.

Recent Photo’s of Pulpit Rock

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Historical Photo’s of Pulpit Rock

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By Nathan

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