Danse Macabre

Spanning the ages from the Jurassic to the amateur naturalists of the Victorian era and early 20th century the exhibition of curios inside the Square & Compass at Worth Matravers is almost as legendary as the Scrumpy, homemade pasties and Dorset Apple cake.

150 years pre-ET one of the more bizarre ship figureheads. The story of the loss of the Halsewell, the death of 168 people and the bravery of the rescuers is well worth checking out at The loss of the Halsewell . Such was the loss it even inspired Charles Dickens and JMW Turner.

Fantastic to see the current landlord sharing his father’s self-found collection of fossils. Absolutely superb.

Local fossils
Absolutely wonderful collection. The sheer effort involved in hauling these up the cliffs let alone chiselling them out of the rockface has to be acknowledged.

Personally I’m not too keen on the stuffed animals but in a world without TV, photographs and multi-media the collections of the many amateur Victorian naturalists have made a massive contribution to our understanding of the natural world.

Easy to criticise but in a different era I’m sure I’d have been a collector (hopefully the non-killing type) !

Wild Boar – supposedly they’re shy and with many releases throughout the West Country there’s a chance they’ll soon be back.

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