Purbeck Footprints focuses on the story beneath our feet, the history of the stone industry in Purbeck, exploring the Purbeck stone and cliff stone heritage, through a series of writing workshops, walks and schools work, dedicated to the subject.
Most people who see quarrs from the footpath or stone lorries on the road have little idea of the quality of work that Purbeck has exported from both its cliffstone and Purbeck stone and marble quarries. Some have heard quaint stories about the Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers and Stone Cutters or dramatic tales of wrecks and smuggling connected with the quarries. Few understand the scale and difficulty of the stone business or appreciate the impact of Purbeck craftsmen and materials on national and international architecture.
Purbeck Footprints is part of the Purbeck Keystone Project
The Purbeck Footprints project brought twelve writers together for a series of workshops led by local writer Paul Hyland. Writing out of passion for the place and from experience of what lies beneath Purbeck’s skin, these twelve writers' rich and diverse new writings have been published in an anthology, entitled 'Written in Stone'
, which is now available from the Artsreach office (please tel: 01305 269512 for details).
Also, Artsreach has published three leaflets of short walks
written by Paul Hyland exploring fascinating and stunning areas of Purbeck, with a particular emphasis on the story of the stone industry. These walks around Dancing Ledge, St Aldhelm’s Head and Acton, will be available from Tourist Information Centres in Purbeck.
Another outcome for this project is an educational resource pack for schools in Purbeck, following some creative writing workshops that writer Paul Hyland led in several Purbeck schools. This resource pack, 'Writing on Stone'
will allow teachers to continue creative writing sessions with their students, with activities and information about the geology and history of Purbeck's quarrying industry. The pack is to be distributed to schools in the Purbeck area by Easter 2009.