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Pikes' Tramway

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 936 861

Last Visited: 2004

Pikes' Tramway Map

Pikeʼs Tramway is one of three old clay railways that used to run across the Purbeck heaths, the other two being Fayles Tramway from Norden to Goathorn Pier, and the much earlier Middlebere Tramway from Norden to Middlebere Creek.

Original Track bed

Original Track bed

The 2ftin gauge Pikeʼs Tramway ran from Pike Brothersʼ clay pits around Furzebrook in an almost dead straight line to Ridge Wharf on the River Frome, and was operated by seven steam engines, named Primus through to Septimus.

Of these only Secundus, which dates from 1874, survives. It was last seen hiding in Corfe Castle Goods Shed but will eventually be moving to the new Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum at Norden.

Stoborough Heath

Stoborough Heath

As for the track formation, a lot of it was concreted over when the line was closed in 1955, and is still used by the clay pit lorries to this day. The best preserved stretch runs north from the A351 from a point opposite the bus stop near the Halfway Inn.

Engine House

Engine House

Engine House

Engine House

There is no parking here, and it is best approached either from Natural Englandʼs Stoborough Heath car park at Sunnyside Farm, or (if you can find somewhere to pull off the road) from the west along the paths marked in green across Stoborough Heath National Nature Reserve.

The only other significant survival is the Engine House at the former Ridge Clay Works. This can be seen opposite the entrance to the Ridge Wharf Boatyard.