The 1795 Hooken Landslide was one of the largest single failures on the south coast of England. The failure surface was in a thin bed of montmorillonite-rich mudstone close above the unconformable junction of the Cretaceous Upper Greensand and the Triassic Mercia Mudstone. It occurred 14 years before the formation of the Geological Society of London, too early to become a geological cause célèbre or a tourist attraction that would satisfy the 19th century passion for spectacular natural phenomena.
A landslide at The Spittles, Lyme Regis on May 6th 2008 involving c. 500,000 tonnes of material intersected part of the former (c.1920-1973) town rubbish tip with the result that glass, metal, other wastes and possible pollutants were deposited on a popular tourist beach. Before-and-after geological surveys made it possible to determine how the 2008 failure was initiated, and how it progressed. At its western end, the new landslide is <300 m from the Lyme Regis built-up area and separated from it by similar mudstones with small faults that may make it equally prone to failure.