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The Higher Lighthouse

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67569004LRThe dominating feature of this part of Portland is the Old Higher Lighthouse which stands high above the cliffs alongside the Coastguard Lookout.

The cliffs here are high and shear.

Please click here for a detailed map. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to this page.

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Please click here for many historic pictures of Portland Bill’s three lighthouses. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to this page.







This has undergone extensive changes to the tower since operations started in 1716. It was coal fired until 1788. The Comben family, who ran the lamp from 1716, had to haul the coal across fields from Easton - a terrible task in the winter and not much fun in summertime! Trinity House inspectors sometimes found the light unlit which was unacceptable as the coastline was extremely dangerous to shipping. The lamp was converted to burn oil; the first in the world to be so fitted.

In 1906 the house was sold for 400 and in the 1920s it became the home of Marie Stopes a pioneer of birth control. Pictures of Dr Stopes, her family and distinguished visitors can be seen here. Use your browser BACK button to return here. An example is reproduced below.


Dr. Marie Stopes with Nurse Jones and “Buffkins” (Harry Stopes-Roe) September 1924

In the 1960s the old lighthouse was run as a restaurant and is now a private house - please click here for more details.

The history of this lighthouse is summarised here.


The modern picture above can be compared with the 1920s photograph below from the time when Marie Stopes lived here.




At right we see a Portland stone animal drinking trough tipped over and standing outside the Upper Lighthouse in August 1990 but gone a few years later. Has it survived or been destroyed like so many other ancient troughs?



The National Coastwatch Station operates from near the Old Higher Lighthouse - click here for details.


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