A big lone rock, perched on top of a conical hill on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. Agglestone Rock, also known as The Devil’s Anvil, is a mesmerising and intriguing landmark, sight to see and place to visit.
You can come to this lone rock not just for the landmark but also for the views. From here you get to see a lot of what Purbeck has to offer: sea views over Studland Bay and across to Poole, but also the open heather filled moors and across to the forests.
I was staying at Burnbake Forest Lodges and there is a glorious scenic walk over Godlingston Heath on a Agglestone Rock walk straight from the campsite. Or there is the option to take a shorter route straight up from the village of Studland.
There is much curiosity in not just how it got there but the myths and legends of days gone by.
The Name Devil’s Anvil
Today, Agglestone Rock looks mightily impressive as it is. But we have to go back in time to realise how the rock got the nickname, The Devil’s Anvil.
In 1970 it toppled over and fell to form what we see today. But prior to that it was shaped as an anvil which can be seen in this photo from the early 20th Century.
We also know that the lone anvil shaped rock captured many an imagination from drawings and sketches over the centuries.
The mythology states that the Devil himself threw the rock from where he was at The Needles on the Isle Of Wight and was aiming for Corfe Castle. He missed and the rock landed here 5 miles or so away from its target.
Other variations state that he was aiming for Salisbury Cathedral or Bindon Abbey.
Agglestone Rock History
If you believe in mythology then, yes, it was launched here by the Devil. But in reality it is is a weathered leftover of iron cemented sandstone from the tertiary period.
Reading writings from visitors a few hundred years ago you learn how it looked shaped like an anvil by human hand to an extent. Plus it had quarried stones in a ring around it. Afterall, there was quarrying activity here once upon a time.
Nobody knows for sure, but it seems to be a combination of the millennia of weather eroding the sandstone down and leaving this rock above the surface. Then human hand could have shaped it over time to create some kind of anvil shaped monument that once had a flat top.
Walking To Agglestone Rock
Like I said before there are a few options when it comes to walking to Agglestone Rock.
From Studland Village
The walk up from the coast at Studland is a shorter 3 mile one, albeit up and down. There a few routes up even from here.
The common one is from the middle beach car park, postcode BH19 3AX. Make your way back through the village past Studland Stores and onto Heath Green Lane. Turn right when you reach Agglestone Road which then leads to the track onto the heath.
You will see the stone and pathway up ahead.
From Burnbake Lodges and Campsite
This is the walk I took as I was staying in one of their gorgeous lodges. It turned the walk into one that not only had a destination but also an extra few miles to discover. Plus the views and variety were lovely.
Heading out of the back of the campsite through the woodland you take the forest track eastwards.
Gorgeously dog friendly and not another soul in sight. This walk really is a follow your nose and go straight on actually. You can pick up a map and helpful info from the reception if you wish too.
The wide track eventually narrows and you follow a path that divides the heathland with The Isle of Purbeck Golf Course.
Just keep going following the path. Make sure you stop to take in the views across to Poole Harbour etc.
After the golf course you end up going downhill toward Agglestone Rock instead of uphill which gives a great perspective compared to other ways to get there.
The dogs absolutely loved this walk, chasing each other around the heather filled moorland.
A place to sit and relax with distant sea views, and on a clear day you can see the Isle of Wight quite easily.
Dorset and the Isle of Purbeck is packed with absolute gems of interesting places. If you visit then make sure to visit the unique Agglestone Rock.
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