Spyway Dinosaur Footprints
in Local Attractions
The Jurassic Coast of England is a treasure trove of geological wonders, offering a glimpse into Earth's prehistoric past. Nestled along this coastline, near the charming village of Langton Matravers in Dorset, lies a remarkable site that holds secrets dating back millions of years – the Spyway Dinosaur Footprints. These ancient impressions provide a unique window into the lives of the dinosaurs that once roamed this region, captivating the imaginations of visitors and scientists alike.
The Spyway Dinosaur Footprints are located within the Purbeck Group rocks, which span the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous periods, approximately 145 to 130 million years ago.
These footprints represent a moment frozen in time when dinosaurs walked on what was once a muddy shore. The footprints were preserved due to the rapid burial and mineralisation of the sediment, effectively creating a natural cast that has endured the ages.
Discovery and Significance
The discovery of the Spyway Dinosaur Footprints was made in 1997 by quarrymen Kevin Keates and Trev Haysom when the stone quarry was still being worked to extract the Purbeck stone.
The tracks offer insight into the behaviours and movements of various dinosaur species, including large theropods, smaller ornithopods, and even possible sauropods. The diversity of tracks suggests a dynamic environment where different types of dinosaurs coexisted and left their marks on the ancient landscape.
Access to the dinosaur footprints is via the Priests Way, which runs between Worth Matravers and Swanage.
Parking is available at the National Trust car park at Spyway at the end of Durnford Drove in Langton Matravers or the Acton Lane Car Park on the B3069 junction with Acton Village.
From the Spyway Car Park, walk south along the footpath and turn right onto the Priests Way, heading west. Continue along the Priests Way for approx. ¾ mile until you come to a gate on the right side with a sign for 'Dinosaur Tracks'. Go through the gate and across the field to the next gate with an information board.
From the Acton Lane Car Park, walk South to the village of Acton and then continue through the village and follow the track as it bares left around the back of the houses, then right, heading south to the junction with the Priests Way. Turn right onto the Priest’s Way for approx. 0.2 miles, the access gate will be on the right side with a 'Dinosaur Tracks' sign. Go through the gate and across the field to the next gate with an information board.
OS grid reference: SY 98666 78046
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