The Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch, located near the town of Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is also close to the much visited Lulworth Cove.
The arch is one of the most striking features on the Jurassic Coast. The 100 mile length of coast is known for its dramatic cliff scenery and a long distance footpath which runs the length of the coast.
Rock falls are common along this stretch of the English coast. At least one person has been killed by falling rock near Durdle Door, and there was a large rock fall in early 2013.
The Durdle Door was formed about 140 million years ago. Today, there are still round ripple marks visible in the rock at the top of the arch, the remains of a fossil forest.
Geologists predict that over time, the roof of Durdle Door will be eroded away, leaving just a stack. There are several other limestone stacks along the coast.
The arch was created when the softer rocks were eroded away over time, leaving the harder limestone remaining. The name Durdle means drill or bore in Old English.
The area around Durdle Door is one of the best places in the UK to look for fossils and to study geology. Several dinosaur bones have been found in the area.
The arch and the nearby beach are privately owned by the Lulworth Estate. Another popular tourist attraction on the estate is Lulworth Castle, which dates from the 17th century.
The Durdle Door is one of several spectacular and natural stone arches around the world. Other well known ones include two in the United States: Delicate Arch in Utah and the Natural Bridge in Virginia.
The arch has featured in many books, poems, music videos and films. It can be seen in the 2005 film, Nanny McPhee, starring Emma Thompson.
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