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Southwell Village

Portland, Dorset


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

Southwell Village lies in the area shown by the red square on the aerial photograph.

Quarry activities have seriously encroached on the fields to the north of Southwell and are still expanding.

Avalanche Church lies in the village and is a memorial to the lives lost nearby in the collision at sea between the Avalanche and Forest.

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

Please click here to visit the satellite image of this area on Google Maps. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to this page.

Please click here to view Southwell Village using Google Street View.

For more pictures of Southwell please click here and there are Victorian pictures here.
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Above left - the Eight Kings pub in Southwell photographed in 1989 just after a refurbishment. 

It was a favourite lunchtime venue for the engineers and scientists at the nearby Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment for nearly four decades. I know - I was one of them!

It is reputed to be the only pub with that name in the United Kingdom.

The road layout has been changed since this picture was taken and a 'mini-roundabout' now exists here as shown in the above 2006 picture.

Please click here for a very old picture of this pub.

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Number 56 Southwell photographed when derelict in February 1989. It was demolished soon afterwards and rebuilt into a very attractive terraced cottage - see picture at left.

The late Eric Ricketts points out in his book "The Buildings of Old Portland" that the door is only 5 ft 3 in high. Were Portlanders really that small? 


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Southwell Post Office in 1989.

Now long closed - a victim of local apathy and low profit margins perhaps?

Many people bemoan the closure of local Post Offices. However, if Post Masters and Mistresses are so keen to keep customers, why do they close on Saturday Afternoons?

This is the only day that many customers can use a Post Office.

Any retail business that closes on Saturday afternoons cannot be serious about its profitability.


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In September 1877 a terrible tragedy occurred off Portland Bill when two ships, Avalanche and Forest collided with the loss of 106 people. This disaster and the outstanding bravery of the local fishermen in rescuing the few survivors resulted in a national subscription. The cost of building this church was 1,900 and the church was dedicated to St Andrew on 3rd July 1879.

Please click here to read an account of this tragedy.

The church has memorials to those drowned as well as testimonials to the bravery of local people. Stained glass windows show scenes from this tragedy. Visiting the church is a 'must'. The times of opening and the address of the key holder are displayed in the entrance porch.

An account of this maritime disaster is given in Stuart Morris's excellent book "Portland: An Illustrated History".

There is an old picture here taken from the same spot as the picture above.

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Southwell Farm - one of the few working farms left on Portland - as pictured in August 1989.

The old Wesleyan church in Southwell photographed in 2003.

This was built in 1849.

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These sparse remain are from a once huge double-storied, semi-detached thatch cottage. Eric Ricketts sketched this building in its original form in his book "The Buildings of Old Portland".

Originally built in the 17th century, a gabled porch was added in the late 18th century but the building had become derelict by the early 1900s and only the small part of a wall and the window survived demolition.

The picture at left shows the large building. The reaming window is the one to the left of the porch.


A very attractive Victorian veranda at No 59 Southwell commented upon by the late Eric Ricketts in his book "The Buildings of Old Portland"

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