St Alban's Head

St Alban's Head (corruption of St Aldhelms Head) is a headland located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of Swanage, on the coast of Dorset, England. It is the most southerly part of the Purbeck peninsula, and comprises an outcrop of Portland Stone from the overlying Lower Purbeck Stone. It is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site.


The Norman St. Aldhelm's Chapel, dedicated to St Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne stands on the head. On the bluff of the headland is a monument to the development of radar during World War II, by the Telecommunications Research Establishment at nearby RAF Worth Matravers.[1] There is also a coastguard station, now maintained by the National Coastwatch Institution (not to be confused with HM Coastguard) and some former coastguard cottages.[2]


St Alban's Head has been heavily quarried and there is a defunct sea-cliff quarry underneath the coastguard station. St Aldhelms Quarry just inland is still in active use.


St Alban's Head is designated a Special Area of Conservation under the European Union's Habitats Directive.

See also


  1. "Purbeck Radar". Purbeck Radar Museum Trust. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  2. "St Alban's Head - Queens Award for Voluntary Service". National Coastwatch. 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
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