Worbarrow, Bay & Tout

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MUST SEE: Worbarrow Bay is a beautiful unspoilt location twenty minutes walk from the car park at Tyneham Village.

Getting there: Worbarrow lies just over a mile west from Tyneham on the coast. From Tyneham Car Park head south on the unmade road that initially leads towards Tyneham Farm and the toilets. The road then turns right heading away from Tyneham Farm and the toilets in a westerly direction. Follow this track west to Worbarrow Bay.

There is a stony beach overlooked by Worbarrow Tout which the more energetic can climb. Swimming is allowed but children should be supervised as the beach shelves steeply as you enter the water.

At the time of the 1901 Census, this remote coastal hamlet of seven cottages and a Coastguard Station was home to over fifty people. Coastguard families accounted for more than half that number. 

When the Coastguard Station closed in 1911, the population plummeted and never recovered. Based around fishing and the nearby school and church at Tyneham, life here had remained unchanged for generations.

During the 1930’s, with increased car ownership, this beautiful spot became popular with tourists. Enterprising fishermen, supplemented their incomes by selling cooked crabs and lobsters, home-made beer and cream teas.

In 1943, the ten remaining residents, most of them elderly, were evacuated from their homes.

Sadly no buildings remain intact at Worbarrow. Some foundations remain visible.

Much more information about past buildings at Worbarrow including photographs can be found by clicking on the links below:

Courtesy of Allan Lawton

Page last updated: 20 April 2020

1947: Aged Evacuee from Training Area Mrs. C. Miller dies at Stoborough

An evacuee from the much discussed battle training area of the Isle of Purbeck, whose exclusion from her lifelong home at Warbarrow Bay has aroused the sympathy of all interested in the “battle” of Purbeck. Mrs. Harriet Deborah Miller, has died at her home at Stoborough. The fate of the only home she knew in her sixty odd years of married life has still to be decided by the Government.

Mrs. Miller, who was 93, was evacuated in December 1943, and within a week her 93 years old husband, Mr. Charlie Miller, died. By permission of the military authorities, he was buried in his home parish of Tyneham, and ever since his widow has grieved that she has been debarred from visiting his last resting place.

In view of all the circumstances Mrs. Miller decided that her last resting place should be at the cemetery adjoining Wareham Parish Church, where her relatives could visit and tend her grave.

So it was that Mrs. Miller was buried at Wareham, separated from her husband, with whom she lived in the little cottage at Warbarrow for the 63 years of her married life. A native of Kingston, she was for some time before her marriage a teacher at Tyneham School.

The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. John Frith, and chief mourners were Mrs. J. Hodge, Mrs. A. Head, Mrs. G. Mudford, Mrs. E. Woadden, Miss E. Houliston (nieces), Mr. G. White, Mr. A. Head, Mr. F. Hodge (nephews), Mrs. Houliston (sister-in-law), Miss Minnie Miller (cousin), Miss B. Minterne and Miss. W. Minterne (friends and former neighbours at Warbarrow). Others present included Mr. and Mrs. W. R. G. Bond, Mrs. Pryce (representing Wareham and Purbeck Rural Council) and Mr. C. F. J. Durant-Lewis, clerk to the Council), Mrs. H. C. Money, Mr. and Mrs. P. Brachi, Mr. and Mrs. G. Hart and Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Reeks.

Western Gazette – Friday 5 September 1947

1893: The Royal Wedding

THE ROYAL WEDDING. – A tea for the people of Tyneham was given at Warbarrow by the Rev. J. Bond, of Tyneham House, to celebrate the wedding of the Duke of York. At the same time and place Mr. N. Bond, of Grange, gave a tea to the children of Holme, Grange and Steeple, and to such of the older people as could come. The children were driven over in waggons, and at once began to make the most of their time by bathing, going in the boats provided, and other seaside pleasures. At four o’clock the children were summoned to their tea, which was prepared just in front of the Coastguards’ houses, the scene being enlivened by flags, some of which had been hoisted by the Coastguardsmen, while others, which had been brought by the children in procession were now planted in the grounds at the top of the green. When the children’s tea was over, the elder folks gathered round and enjoyed the plentiful supply of good cheer. Mr. Bennett‘s well-known cakes and bread being as good as ever, thorough justice was done to them.  Altogether more than three hundred persons were thus entertained. Various races and sports were then improvised, conducted by Messrs. Chilcott, Nineham, Ogle, &c., and the onlookers seemed much interested, and applauded loudly. A concertina being forthcoming, some of the party were soon dancing, and the evening was so still that the music was sufficient to enable the dancers to keep step. About eight o’clock, as the more distant folk were preparing to leave, the Rector suggested that “God save the Queen” should be sung, which was done heartily without accompaniment. Then three cheers for Her Majesty were given with a will, led off by Mr. Ward, the officer in charge. Three more for the Duke of York and three for the Duchess followed. After that three for “Our entertainers,” the two Messrs. Bond, were enthusiastically given, and three more for the Rev. Canon and Mrs. Wordsworth and Mr. and Mrs. Filliter. The Rector responded by calling for three cheers for Mr. Ward and the Coastguards generally, who so greatly contributed to the success of the entertainment. After this dancing and races went on again, as long as the light lasted. The feature of the evening was the extreme good temper of the company, even the losers of the races coming in with a broad grin, and joining in the laugh at the good-humoured jibes bestowed on the laggards. Altogether it was a most delightful gathering, the weather perfect, the little bay looking at its best, and everyone on good terms with themselves and their neighbours. The Duke of York’s wedding day will long be remembered in Tyneham, where everyone wishes him and his fair bride all possible joy and blessing.

Published by the Western Gazette, Friday 14 July 1893

1873: Fatal Boat Accident

On Monday a fatal boat accident occurred between Kimmeridge and Warbarrow, Dorset. James Soper, late of Her Majesty’s ship Duke of Wellington, Portsmouth; Edwin Soper, seaman, Her Majesty’s ship Euphrates; John Quan, a native of Kimmeridge; and Jeremiah Quan, aged 19, seaman, Her Majesty’s ship Duke of Wellington, receiving ship for seaman awaiting draught at Portsmouth, started about 2 o’clock from Kimmeridge in a punt about 11ft long, with an extemporary mainsail, made with a mizzen from a larger boat. At the ledge at Warbarrow, where the sea is always very rough, the boat was capsized. All hands swam towards the shore, but, finding the tide too strong, returned to the boat. Jeremiah Quan, after holding on to the boat a short time, made another attempt to reach the shore, but was drowned. The others held to the boat for about a quarter of an hour, when, the accident having been witnessed from the shore, they were rescued by some fishermen. The men were sober and the boat was properly managed.

Published by The Times, 9 October 1873

1844: Miraculous Escape

MIRACULOUS ESCAPE. – Lieut. Wilmot, R.N., of the Warbarrow Coast Guard Station, received some severe injuries about a fortnight ago whilst on night duty, he having (owing to the extreme darkness of the night) walked over the highest part of Gadcliff, which is an elevation of 128 feet. The first portion of the cliff is about 40 feet perpendicular, the remainder being on the slope, both rugged and rocky; he was shortly after being picked up by one of his men, who fortunately heard him call for help, and by the assistance of others , was carefully cenveyed [conveyed] to his residence.

Published by Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, Saturday 13 April 1844