The angular sea stacks of the Mupe Rocks are all that remain of a series which may once have reached across the Bay to Worbarrow Tout. A smugglers cave lies hidden in the corner of the bay behind the most westerly sea stack.
This area lies within the MODís Lulworth Firing Range, but visitors are free to explore when the range walks are open to the public.
Coastal Features: The Great Unconformity and The Cretaceous Blanket, The Mupe Rocks, Mupe Reef
The Great Unconformity and The Cretaceous Blanket
The sediments which make up the Jurassic Coastline were deposited in the following order, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, with the oldest rock, the Triassic sitting at the at the bottom of the pile.
Part way through the Early Cretaceous Period the sea levels dropped and the layers of rock were tilted to the East by earth movements. Overtime the exposed rocks were eroded before sea levels rose again, depositing more Cretaceous sediments.
The combined tilting and erosion explains why the Jurassic Period is completely missing in East Devon and why areas of cliff all along the coastline are capped with Cretaceous rocks which are millions of years younger than the sediments laying directly beneath them.
The Mupe Rocks
The Mupe Rocks consist of 150 million year old Portland Limestone that have been left as sea stacks to bear the brunt of the seas natural forces. Their peculiar angle is evidence of the intensive folding which affected the area around Lulworth when the continents of Africa and Europe collided around 30 million years ago.
Running through the cliff alongside the Mupe Rocks are bands of 147 million year old Purbeck Beds. These Beds lead down onto the beach and out into the bay where they form a reef. The waves here meet from two different directions.
Coastal Visitor Centre
Lulworth Heritage Coast Centre
Town/Village or Area:
Tourist Info Centres
in this Area: Bindon Hill, Rock Pools
The wildlife living on the chalky soil of Bindon Hill is exceptionally rich. It is home to a host of plants and animals, a great place to see butterflies and moths.
The geology of the area around the Mupe Rocks provides a large rocky beach with ledges to explore. The nearest and easiest access to this site is from Lulworth Cove.
Interest: MOD Lulworth Firing Range and Walking, Bindon Hill Fort, Smugglers Cave
Obscured from view behind the Mupe Rocks is a large cave once used by smugglers to hide their illegally imported, untaxed goods.
Bindon Hill Fort
The earthworks of an Iron Age hill fort follow the summit of Bindon Hill for 1 ľ miles.
At 168 meters above sea level, it offers far reaching views across the Lulworth coastline.
MOD Lulworth Firing Range and Walking
The Lulworth Firing Range belongs to the Ministry of Defence. Everything from rifles, machine guns and tanks use the area which stretches along the coastline from Lulworth to Kimmeridge. Red flags fly when the area is in use, gates are locked and wardens patrol the area. There is a range patrol boat to guide shipping away from the danger areas and flying restrictions operate in the airspace overhead. The footpaths are cleared of any unexploded ordnance between the yellow markers, but occasionally unexploded shells can be washed up onto the beach. These are dangerous and should not be touched or moved. Contact the Range Wardens who will arrange the safe disposal of the offending item. It is worth mentioning that it is not uncommon for divers to see unexploded shells on the seabed. These should be left where they are and given a wide berth. The range walks and coast path are open most weekends and some weekdays, but more definite information can be obtained by contacting the Lulworth Firing Range Wardens on 01929 404819.