Welcome to my web site which contains maps, stories, history, advice and over 800 photographs to help you explore Portland, Dorset - The Jewel of the Jurassic Coast

North of Portland Bill

Portland, Dorset

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The above image is copyright Dorset County Council 2000 and is reproduced here with permission.

The area north of Portland Bill included the Ministry of Defence Magnetic Range where test can be performed well away from stray electric and magnetic fields. 

Also in this area is the Pulpit Inn, Dorset's most southerly public house - and one of its friendliest. 

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Please click here to view the area close up using Google Street View.

The old blacksmith's forge at Portland Bill. 

Now used as a fisherman's store, it is described in Eric Ricketts' book* where the corbie stepped gables are noted as similar to 16th century Scottish and Dutch huts. The blacksmith's main task was to repair and sharpen the quarry workers' tools when stone was being extracted from Portland Bill quarries in Victorian days.

* The Buildings of Old Portland by Eric Ricketts. Privately Published in 1979 and since reprinted.

A Portland Stone hand-carved animal trough. 

There used to be many of these scattered around the Island but few have survived the destructive attention of vandals. This one was intact and stood by the east wall of the old blacksmith's building (see picture above) until it was smashed in 1989. 

One also lay by the wall of the upper lighthouse until the mid-1990s - that too has gone. 

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The Pulpit Public House pictured in 1990 before the car-park was partially enclosed with boulders. 

A well is marked on the 1903 Ordnance Survey map about 30 metres north-west of the pub. Is there still a well here?

When plans were submitted to build 'Lobster World' near the coastguard cottages it was strongly opposed by local people. However, it opened in 1986 as a tourist attraction and breeding centre for lobsters to be released into the wild.

Unfortunately, it was not a commercial success and, in 1989, it was converted into a luxury four-bedroom house and put on the market in that year for 180,000.

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The old coastguard cottages and houses near Portland Bill; one of the most remote settlements in South Dorset.

The Ministry of Defence magnetic test range at Portland Bill and, in the foreground, the famous 'Portland Raised Beach'.

This latter was created during a warm inter-glacial climate change about 200,000 years ago when sea levels were about 15 metres above present levels. Above the fossil beach is a thick layer of wind-blown sand capped with limestone rubble deposited during the arctic conditions of the last Ice Age.

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