Seatown, a jewel of Dorset which belongs to the famous Jurassic Coast of England

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Seatown is a coastal hamlet in Dorset, England, sited on the English Channel approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west-southwest of Bridport. It lies within the civil parish of Chideock.

The coast at Seatown is part of the Jurassic Coast, a world heritage site stretching for 96 miles (154 km). The surrounding area is also designated part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyGolden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England, lies 1 mile (1.6 km) to the west.

Seatown comprises a small number of houses, a holiday park, some holiday cottages and «The Anchor» pub. The small River Winniford or Wynreford[1] runs into the sea here. Seatown beach is popular with fossil collectors, with rock of Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous. The beach is privately owned; it is free to access but parking is charged.

Furmity‘—a mix of wheat, dried fruit and sugar, often with added spirits—was one of the products sold at a Whit Monday Fair which used to be held in Seatown. In Thomas Hardy‘s novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, the character Michael Henchard got drunk on laced furmity and sold his wife while inebriated.[1]

Fossils can be found all year round, although the volume significantly increases after periods of heavy rain and stormy conditions. During the summer months and after periods of dry weather fossil collecting can be less productive without prior experience. The most commonly found fossils are belemnite guards and ammonite shells, many of which appear in situ on the sea weathered foreshore; a large number of fossils can also be found loose on the foreshore and are easily collected.

 

Important: The coastline at Seatown has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and belongs to the Jurassic Coast – World Heritage Site. Due to its scientific importance there are rules governing the collection of fossils. Visitors can collect loose fossils among the pebbles and from the boulders on the foreshore, however hammering directly into the cliff or foreshore is not permitted.