Distanced from Durlston in these days of stasis, I cannot wander across its hardy clifftops and softer meadows; instead it has become a wanderland of recollections.

In my mind, Durlston is now a storehouse of memories, a bucolic mnemonic device like Sherlock Holmes’s mind palace or the memory palaces that Renaissance thinkers built in their intellects to house and recall information.

With its hidden shoreline in Durlston Bay, its contrasting wildflower meadows with their Bee Orchids and knee-high summer grasses, the cavities of the abandoned quarries at Tilly Whim’s Caves; Durlston’s spaces are capacious, divergent and multifaceted. For me, each part of Durlston has a cache of remembrances, chronicling different eras of my life, different seasons of the year.

Cathy John



For me, Durlston has many associations. Firstly, it is such a special and unusual spot, a place of beauty and interest, thanks to Burt's legacy.

2ndly, when I started working with the team to develop the castle, I was virtually the only woman at those meetings. Thankfully this has changed and would say it is a much more balanced mix. 

3rdly. My dear Mum's poem was selected by artist Gary Breeze, who came up with the timeline. My mum loved Durlston and her poem reminds us how small we are within the timeline of nature. For me, Durlston reminds me of my much missed Mum who died 4 years ago. I enjoy seeing her poem etched in stone in the timeline. 

Her poem follows: