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Fleet and Langton Herring

Stretching from Portland (7.5km to the south-east) to West Bay (20km to the north-west) is the large shingle bank known as Chesil Bank. Where it links the mainland to the Isle of Portland it forms a geographical feature termed a tombolo. Trapped behind the bank at its southern end is a semi-brackish lagoon of water – The Fleet – the largest tidal lagoon of its kind in the UK. Chesil and the Fleet are of international importance for both the wildlife to be found there and the geology of the area.

088-01 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-02 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-03 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-04 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-05 Fleet and Langton Herring
088-06 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-07 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-08 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-09 Fleet and Langton Herring 088-10 Fleet and Langton Herring
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The pictures in this gallery follow a short circular walk starting at the small 'old' church at East Fleet. The chancel is all that remains of what was once a much larger church, most of which was washed away by a great storm in 1824 when the heavy seas broke through the bank. The path then follows the inner shore northwards, past Moonfleet Manor and along reed beds and tracts of marsh, all the time watched over by the row of coastguard cottages above Langton Hive Point. The route finally climbs a small hill to the village of Langton Herring, located just below the hilltop and sheltered from the coastal winds, before returning to the start point once more.

The lagoon and the small hamlet of East Fleet were the setting of J. Falkner's novel about Dorset smugglers – Moonfleet.


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In the top row of pictures:

  • The old church, East Fleet, only the chancel remains following the storm of 1824 (picture)
  • Looking along the northern shore of Butterstreet Cove, the Fleet (picture)
  • Looking across the Fleet towards Chesil Bank (picture)
  • The Fleet and Chesil Bank (picture)
  • Old boat on the Fleet, Moonfleet manor in the distance (picture)

In the bottom row of pictures:

  • Coastguard cottages above Langton Hive Point (picture)
  • Approaching Rodden Hive (picture)
  • The village of Langton Herring lies nestling in a small valley, protected from the coastal wind (picture)
  • Church of St Peter, Langton Herring (picture)
  • Cottages on Shop Street, Langton Herring (picture)

Nearby locations that also feature in galleries on this site:

directionUpwey, Dorchester

directionWeymouth, Fortuneswell, Portland


More views of Dorset in May

Other sites on the web

The coastline shown here forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site

West's Geology Field Guide to Chesil Beach

The Dorset Page:   Langton Herring – local information and links to further resources on the web

Maps of the area on streetmap.co.uk (Fleet):   1:50,000 – detail, 1:250,000 – locality and route to get there

Maps of the area on streetmap.co.uk (Langton Herring):   1:50,000 – detail, 1:250,000 – locality and route to get there

picture resolution
The pictures of Fleet and Langton Herring in this gallery were captured at high resolution.
This is images of dorset stock photography gallery 088
All photographs copyright © 1998–2003 John Allen

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