The Land of Bone and Stone
The Land of Bone and Stone is thought by many experts to be on a par with Stonehenge. There are many Bronze Age burial mounds, Iron Age hill forts and many other remains from pre-history, yet very few people know about it!! The South Dorset Ridgeway forms part of the South West Coast Path and looks over the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
Visitor Area and Car Park
Driving on the road to Martinstown past Hardy’s Monument from Portesham, I came across a new road sign which I thought needed further investigation. I had heard that a new car park and visitor area was being created at Black Down but did not know when it was to be opened or where. Since the forest was harvested a couple of years ago, the land has been acquired by Dorset Countryside and has been restored to heathland with farm animals grazing on it. Walks have been created along the old forest trails and it is the perfect place to take your dog for a walk (on a lead when the cows or sheep are about).
Parking is free in the newly created car park. I took the opportunity for an exploratory stroll around as a recce for a future visit with my wife and dogs. Next to the parking area, there is a picnic area and about 50 metres away some strange stone pillars are sited. After some investigation, I discovered that the stone pillars are a new sculpture made by artist Amanda Moore at Black Down, near Hardy’s Monument in Dorset.
The views from here are fabulous, to the West is Lyme Bay and Golden Cap which stands at 191 metres and the highest point on the south coast. To the East, you can see Hardy’s Monument with Weymouth Bay beyond. The information boards and maps are great as routes for short, medium and longer walks are shown along with descriptions of what to look for.
We will, of course, bring you a blog of our future visit and walks around this beautiful area of Black Down and the Land of Bone and Stone.