Kingston Landmarks

A quick tour of some of the landmarks in the parish of Kingston, Dorset

Kingston, being a parish on the Jurassic Coast, is fortunate in having a number of natural landmarks. In this post we highlight just some of those landmarks plus a couple of man-made ones for good measure. For further information, just click on the links provided. We start are journey on the coast on the eastern parish boundary with Worth Matravers and then head in a clockwise direction.

1. Chapman’s Pool

Chapman’s Pool from the air
Photo courtesy of Steve / Wessex Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club 2007

Chapman’s Pool is a delightful cove lying at the foot of the Hill Bottom valley, between St Alban’s Head to the south-east (in the parish of Worth Matravers) and Houns-Tout to the west. At one time a life boat was stationed here and a coastguard station was positioned higher up the valley. We’ll tell you more about those in future posts. Find out more about Chapman’s Pool

Chapman's Pool from the slipway
Chapmans Pool from the slipway
Photo courtesy of Jomega 2002

2. Houns-Tout

Houns-Tout from Egmont Point
Photo courtesy of Treehouse1977

At 140 metres Houns-Tout dominates the western skyline at Chapman’s Pool. In the 19th Century, Lord Eldon’s private carriage drive from Encombe House on the west side of Houns-Tout ran round the face of the cliff and on to Hill Bottom, where it joined the track leading down to Chapmans Pool. Sadly the carriageway was obliterated by a succession of landslides many years ago. Find out more about Houns-Tout

Below Houns-Tout lies Egmont Point, the seaward edge of the Tout itself.

3. Egmont Bight

Egmont Bight
Photo courtesy of Jim Champion 2008

Egmont Bight is the small bay between Houns-Tout and Freshwater Steps. There is a small beach, accessible at low tide, with a stark backdrop of dark grey Kimmeridge shale cliffs. Find out more about Egmont Bight

4. Freshwater Steps

#OnePlaceLandmarks: Freshwater Steps
Waterfall at Freshwater Steps
Photo courtesy of Hardo Müller 2009

The promontory named after the fresh water stream that flows from the Encombe valley and the original steps, now long since gone, that once lead down to the beach. Find out more about Freshwater Steps

5. Eldon Seat

The Eldon Seat was erected in October 1835 on the slope below Swyre Head. It was a favourite spot where Lord Eldon walked with his dog Pincher. Find out more about Eldon Seat 

6. Swyre Head

Swyre Head from the west
Photo courtesy of Michael Day 2015

At 203 metres (682 feet), Swyre Head is the highest point in the Isle of Purbeck. It is a Marilyn, a hill of any height with a drop of 150 metres or more on all sides. Find out more about Swyre Head

7. Golden Bowl

Looking down on the Golden Bowl
Photo courtesy of Roman Hobler 2014

The Golden Bowl is the name given to the lush slopes leading down towards Encombe House and the coast beyond from Swyre Head and the northern ridge. Find out more about the Golden Bowl 

8. Obelisk

The Obelisk on North Hill
Photo courtesy of Michael Day 2015

On North Hill, to the north-east of Encombe HouseLord Eldon erected a 40ft high stone obelisk in 1835 to commemorate his elder brother, Sir William Scott, becoming Baron Stowell. Find out more about the Obelisk


Published to coincide with the Society for One-Place Studies January 2021 #OnePlaceLandmarks blogging challenge. Please note there are other prominent man-made landmarks that we will cover at a later date!

Village News – April 2020

As you are probably all aware Church services are suspended for the foreseeable future. Other events cancelled are our two concerts David Orr in March and The Mayday Singers in April plus the Coffee and Hot Cross Buns on the lawn on Good Friday morning.

Cancelling events is a blow for us, as it is for a lot of organisations, as we are fundraising for repairs to the porch roof and also basically to keep the church afloat.

With our reserves dwindling we have, reluctantly, switched off the night time floodlights at the church as we feel unable to justify the expense unless we are able to attract some sponsorship either corporate or personal. We need approximately £500 per year to fund the lights. We would be happy to erect a board advertising who is sponsoring the lights either for the year or per month if anyone felt able to contribute even a small amount. I realise we all have more important things than the Church lights to worry about at present but we felt we should explain why the church is in darkness.

We hope the current state of affairs with older people self-isolating and all the difficulties that brings with only be for a short while but should
anyone in Kingston need help or shopping done please contact one of the Dubbra Support Groups run by either Langton or Worth. (I am among the ones told to self-isolate so probably personally should not visit).

Let us hope we all stay healthy during the weeks ahead and pray for a speedy return to normal life.

Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary

Village News – February 2020

Our service at St James’s on Sunday 2 February at 9.30am is a Benefice Service for all the seven parishes of the new St Aldhelm’s Benefice. This will be a special occasion as it is the first time we have all worshipped together and it is hoped that people from all the parishes will come and join us. The Occasional Singers will be in attendance so we will have some wonderful singing to enjoy. Hoping to see you there. Refreshments will be served after the service.

If anyone feels they could spare some time to help clean the brass in the church from time to time please contact me. Any help would be gratefully received.

Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary

Kingston News – September 2019

The second Saturday in September was a lovely day for the Dorset ‘Ride and Stride’ to raise funds for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust. A few of us from St James’ took part and then served refreshments at Kingston to the intrepid walkers that called in. We had 26 people call in plus several tourists who joined us so it was a very nice social occasion and we had a very pleasant day and hopefully raised quite a bit of money. The weekend locally was very busy what with the Nordic Walking Festival, the Marathon and a Cycle Ride plus the Ride and Stride.

We were lucky enough to have been given a grant of £3,000 from the Dorset HCT this year towards the renovation of the stained glass window in the Lady Chapel so felt this was an occasion we should support as their help is much needed in many churches with ongoing maintenance and repairs if we are to preserve these beautiful buildings.

This year, we are not holding our Harvest Lunch at Kingston but are joining with Langton at the Benefice Harvest Supper on 30 September which all are welcome to attend.

The Natalie Klein concert at Kingston at the beginning of September was well attended and enjoyed by all who came. We are hoping to organize more concerts by various musicians next year to make use of the wonderful acoustics in the Church.

Enjoy the Autumn, hopefully, with some good weather now things have quietened down a bit in the area.

Doreen Farr, PCC secretary

Kingston News – June 2019

The repairs and restoration of the stained-glass window in The Lady Chapel have now been completed and it has been returned to its former glory which is a great joy to look at. Many thanks to Dan Humphries and his team for an excellent job done within the time frame quoted. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the appeal for funds. We are still a bit short of the total needed so if anyone felt able to assist us we would be very grateful.

On Sunday, 21 July Anne and Alan Fry are hosting an Open Garden afternoon with music, light lunches and cream teas (with prosecco if wished) and a few stalls and a raffle at Greystone Court, Kingston from 12 midday until 5pm. There will also be a display of model aircraft flying and a display of vintage cars. Do come along as it should be a very enjoyable afternoon with the profit going to Swanage Stroke Club, Purbeck Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Swanage Food Bank. We have music from Harmony Rocks choir, the Eukele group and Karen Grant so it should be a very varied programme. Kingston Church are running a Tombola stall so any prizes for this would be much appreciated.

Our thanks to Belinda and Peter Bell for hosting a Strawberry Cream Tea at Scoles Manor in May which raised just over £400 for church funds. It was well attended despite the weather not being very kind and the magnificent views made up for the lack of sunshine. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event or helped with it. All we need now is some sunshine for the summer.

Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary

War Dead

Our ‘War Dead‘ page commemorating those who lost their lives during both wars has been updated recently with images of Harry Furmage courtesy of Liz Richards and of Harry Stevens courtesy of Lisa Leahy.

Sadly there are still three servicemen who lost their lives in the First World War for whom we have no information at all. Their names are: Sidney Cook, Edwin Cooper and Charles Lovel.

If you are able to provide any information or photos, please do contact us at info [at] kingstonopc.org.uk replacing [a] with the @ symbol.

Kingston News – February 2019

We recently had our Quinquennial architect’s inspection of St James’ at Kingston which has highlighted various essential and some desirable repairs. We will undertake the essential repairs and such of the desirable repairs as we can afford which, to be honest, is not many.

One of the beautiful stained glass windows is badly damaged with calcium deposits and we have obtained estimates to have this repaired and also to try to remedy the reason that this happens. The repairs will be in excess of £5,000 for the window. We have applied to various Trusts for funding but, as is customary with these things, we are expected to raise at least half of the money ourselves.

Over the next few months we will be organising some events to raise money for our ‘Window Fund’. If anyone has any ideas or would be willing to hold an event to raise funds or if anyone feels able to give us a donation, which would be very much appreciated, please contact me at window_fund [at] kingstonopc.org.uk replacing [at] with the @ symbol.

We were very pleased to be given a donation last year to enable us to keep the church floodlit for the next year and we express our gratitude to the people concerned.

Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary