inis:eto ยท memotone

Memotone – Dorset: In the Shadow of Golden Cap

It’s often easier to find a spring by following a stream back from its mouth, rather than digging around in a hedge looking for it’s arse.

My journey starts on St Gabriel’s beach, below the highest point of the south coast, Golden Cap, rising 618 feet out of the sea. Here, a fresh water stream runs off the clay, and trickles into the abyss. I pick my way against the current, trousers rolled up to my knees, a long stick to part the overgrowth. Getting beyond the exposed clay of the coastline, the stream approaches me through tangled blackthown and bracken, rippling over a bed of flint and chalk. Some of the larger stones hide bullheads and sticklebacks beneath them.

I know this stream well, having paddled in it nearly every year for thirty years. From it’s spring(s) to its mouth, it weaves through the medieval hamlet of Stanton St Gabriel, of which only three buildings remain, one of them – the 11th century chaple, famously used for smuggling – lies in ruins. Before the coach road was moved further north due to costal erosion, encouraging the population to abandon this place, the stream would have been the water source for the small community of Stanton, first mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086.)

The stream splits (one branch leading me to the excellent ‘Felicity’s Farm Shop’) and ends in four different locations, mostly running out of steam while crossing a field. Here the water rises from the aquifer and climbs it’s way through the crust.

There is an ancient well slightly further west, dedicated to St Candida (8th Century) which is revered for its healing qualities, especially to calm sore eyes.



The first two releases are up for streaming/purchase on bandcamp. Vinyl is sold out, but available from various shops online and off.