Worth Matravers us a village and civil parish that is located in Dorset, England, the village is positioned on the cliffs west of Swanage and is made up of limestone cottages and farmhouses that were all built around a pond which can regularly be seen on postcards in Swanage. Traditionally, the village’s main economy was based around farming, fishing, and quarrying. Now there are still two quarries (Swanworth and St Aldhelm’s) which are still in operation today, Pasture and arable farming still take place and are central to the village’s economy.
To the south of Worth Manners are the limestone cliffs of the English Channel and help make up part of the Jurassic Coast Heritage Site. This area is popular for tourists, especially during the summer periods. To the north of the village is the chalk Purbeck Hills, the Sanage Railway passes through this area with a steam train in operation. On the north side, the village’s agricultural heritage is visible in the form of Medieval terraces that were constructed on the steep, chalk Purbeck hills. This was done so that the land could be cultivated with less struggle.
Places of Interest In and Around Worth Matravers
- There is a monument of St Aldhelm’s head situated about a mile outside the village, this was created to commemorate the development of rater by the Telecommunications Research Establishment at RAF Worth Matravers.
- About a mile outside of the village is Winspit which is an old quarry on the cliffs. It was used during the filming of an episode of Blake’s 7 and also in two different Doctor Who episodes.
- The village also has the well known Square and Compass, a Grade II listed building and public house that was opened in 1973.
Worth Matravers Interesting Facts
- In 2004, local fishermen were targeted with a sabotage campaign by the so-called “Lobster Liberation Front”, a fringe animal rights group operating in the area.
- The tombs of Benjamin Jesty, a farmer who is reported to have vaccinated his family against Smallpox having made the same observations as Edward Jenner and a while earlier, but kept quiet about it, and his wife are side by side in the churchyard. Jesty’s family may be the first recorded deliberate attempt to induce immunity to Smallpox using Cowpox, or it may have been a more widespread activity prior to its systematization.
- The first President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Lord Phillips took Worth Matravers as part of his title.
- One of the jewels in the crown of Worth Matravers is the nearby Chapman’s Pool.
- Rocks that form the cove consist of the upper layers of Kimmeridge clay.
- The Norman Church of St Nicholas is one of the oldest in the county.
- The Square and Compass Pub holds an annual stone carving festival and houses a museum exhibiting fossils and other local artifacts.