The Department of Mysteries



The Durdle Door


Long, long ago, when the yetis first travelled to Britain, they had to be extra careful not to be seen. Most human people were scared of anything they didn’t understand, and the yetis didn’t want to get into trouble!

The first yeti settlers arrived with a plan and whispered a story to a friendly group of children they met on the beach. The children wanted to help keep the yetis safe and told the story to all the grown-ups they could find ... 

The yeti's story told of a rock formation down by the seashore that was actually a fearsome ‘Durdle Monster’! The monster spent most of its time turned to stone, but woke every full moon, stomping and growling on the beach looking for good things to eat. Because people at that time were scared of anything magical it didn’t take long for the story to spread from village to village, far and wide.

No one dared go anywhere near the rock monster on the shore at the full moon. They believed that if the Durdle Monster was to look into your eyes, and if it didn’t gobble you up first, you would be turned to stone the next morning too stuck beside the scary Durdle Monster forever!!   

The yetis had been really smart. The rocks that they chose looked a lot like a giant dragon, frozen just as it was about to take a drink of water from the sea …  just the thing to convince people the story was true, and keep them away.  With no one around, the yetis could come safely ashore once a month when the moon was at its brightest.

Unfortunately, there are too many tourists on the beach at Lulworth Cove now for the yetis to use the Durdle Door, but the rock is still known by the same name. Though people don't believe in dragons anymore, the legend still lives on. The yetis giggle that people still think a Durdle was a type of sea creature … it’s actually the ancient yeti word for hole!!

Don’t tell too many grown-ups the real story – it’s much more fun having the legend of the Durdle Door as a mystical, stone sea monster!


When the Durdle Door was being used, a yeti called 'Old Hairy' and his wife hid arriving boats along the coast until the next full moon.


Old Hairy was probably the scruffiest, shaggyest yeti there has ever been, but this worked well to keep him hidden. If anyone looked out to his rock from shore they wouldn't have been able to tell if he was a tangle of old fishing nets or a clump of seaweed! 

His story lives on to this day too, but people have got mixed up over the years calling the rocks 'Old Harry and his wife'... his wife was as hairy and tangled a yeti as Harry!

Make your own 'Old Hairy' Yeti Puppet


Print out a template and glue lots of old pieces of wool or string to your yeti's body to make your very own 'Old Hairy' yeti puppet. 


Why don't you print and make 'Old Hairy's Wife' too?

Make a Durdle Dragon

Grab yourself a ruler and make your very own flapping Durdle Sea Monster!