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Portland Port, Naval Cemetery and a Gun Battery

Portland, Dorset

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All the pictures on this page showing a thick border are thumbnails. Clicking on the picture will produce a larger version. Use your browser BACK button to return to this page.

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

This area covers the eastern part of the old Royal Naval Dockyard - now Portland Port, The Royal Naval cemetery lying up the hill above Portland Port ('A' on the adjacent photograph), the East Weares battery - a Victorian gun emplacement now overgrown with brambles ('B') and the prison ship HMP Weare 'C'.

The official website for Portland Port can be found here.

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A panoramic view of Portland Port and surrounding area

A view of Portland Port and the block-shaped HMP WEARE Prison Ship taken above the Royal Naval Cemetery.

PORTLAND'S NAVAL CEMETERY

The memorial in the Royal Naval Cemetery. One of the graves in the foreground is that of Jack Mantle VC. More on him and this cemetery will be added in the future.

For more pictures from this cemetery please click here

   

Memorial stones to some of those buried in the Royal Navy Cemetery. Above, a German pilot, above right, a sailor from HMS SIDON which sank in Portland Harbour following a torpedo explosion and, right, the tomb of the Canadian officer killed in the Sidon tragedy.

Please click here for a tribute to the dead from this accident.

The pictures below were taken in 2010

 

 

PORTLAND PORT

HMS Portland tied up alongside in Portland Port on a public open day in 2002.

This bought back memories of the days when the Royal Navy was 'at home' at Portland and Open Days were looked forward to as a family event.

Fleet Support boats cluster around the Portland Port jetties - almost like the old days when the MFVs chugged around the harbour especially during the 'Thursday War' exercises.

This scene captured in 1989 shows the 'Glory days' when the Royal Navy still fought its 'Thursday Wars' and aircraft carriers like this visited the port.

Old pictures of the Naval Dockyard may be viewed here.

 

PORTLAND'S PRISON SHIP

HMP Weare - a prison ship.

Believed to be impregnable until a prisoner escaped over the fence in February 2003!

This prison was closed in 2005 only to be reopened a few months later after the employees had been paid off and had found other jobs. It then closed again and was sold to a Nigerian oil company in 2006.

PORTLAND'S EAST WEARES BATTERY

At the point 'B' on the above aerial photograph is the East Weares Victorian Gun Battery. 

It is reached by following the footpath beyond the cemetery until the path abruptly stops at the ex-Ministry of Defence steel fence. The battery is on the seaward side of the path.

It is now almost total overgrown with thick brambles. This gun emplacement was photographed in 1989. 

Over the years I had believed that this Victorian structure had been overwhelmed by brambles and disappeared from sight.

However, in 2004 I struggled through and discovered it still to be visible as shown by the recent picture above. It's a challenge to get to it however!

1989 2003

These pictures show the main storage building for the ammunition and living accommodation. Attempts to brick up the entrances have been defeated by vandals so it is now possible  to go into this building but - you will need a reliable and powerful torch and no fear of the dark!

The curious stone 'seat' is actually a ventilator for the armaments storage building hidden under the brambles.

The gun emplacement seen above is somewhere in the centre of this picture. A glimpse of stonework is just visible mid-left in the picture which was taken in 2002.

Old photographs of this battery may be found here.

Old Royal Navy football pitch above the site of the old H.M.S. Osprey buildings.
The following pictures taken within the Portland Port were kindly supplied by 'Aslanman'

More excellent Portland pictures by him can be seen by clicking here.  

 

Above left - An Anti-Aircraft gun mounting high above Portland Port

Above right - The entrance to a bunker within Portland Port.

 

Victorian gun emplacements.

 

Above left - A kitchen range in a bunker deep in Portland Port's territory.

Above right - World War 2 buildings.

A commemorative stone from 1999 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the start of Portland Breakwater.

Derelict communications equipment for the gun emplacements.

  

 

Souvenirs left behind by German ships which visited Portland Harbour in its days as a Naval Training Establishment. A closer view shows the date '1987'.

Ancient slipways were discovered when excavations were out near 'Monkey Island' within Portland Port.

A MYSTERY SOLVED?

Somewhere in the vicinity of the East Weares Battery and Royal Naval cemetery is this cascade of water. This photograph was taken in 1990 and I was unable to locate this curious feature again despite extensive searches.

 

However, in 2004 I received the following three pictures taken by Sally Norris and her husband. This is clearly "Ye Olde Donovan's Drain" but badly overgrown.

Many thanks to Sally for allowing me to publish these pictures.

 

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