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Sources of Portland Information

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Ashley Smith’s “The Encyclopedia of Portland History” website is comprehensive and can be seen here. This is arguably the best source of information about Portland online. Much of the material in my website is taken from Ashley’s work some of which is derived, in turn, from the monumental Stuart Morris book “Portland - An Illustrated History” and other books by Stuart described below.

There is a short Pathe newsreel covering Portland made in 1934 here and a longer television programme from 1971 here featuring Skylark Durston.

There is much to enjoy on the ‘Portland Bill’ website which is reached here.

There is a video following the track of the derelict Merchants’ Railway here.

There are 360 degree panoramas of Yeolands Quarry and its surrounds here. It will be in this quarry that the ‘Jurassica’ Project may be built - please see here.

Fancy’s Family Farm is an attraction suitable for all ages located south of the Verne Prison. Its website is here.

Fancy’s Farm is located at the 1950s RAF PORTLAND ROTOR site. Please click here to see amazing pictures taken in the bunkers and tunnels under Fancy’s Farm.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust website concerning Tout Quarry is here and their website for King Barrow Quarry is here.

The Butterfly Conservation Dorset Branch website describing their Broadcroft Quarry Reserve is here and the description of their Perryfields Reserve is here.

There are a large number of 360 degree animated panoramas of the most popular tourist sites on Portland here


There are several sets of aerial surveys covering Portland. The dates and locations of these surveys are shown below.


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2012 - 2013

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Google Streetview

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Dorset County Council (2015)

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6 inches to 1 mile (1888 - 1913)

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1 inch to 1 mile (1937 - 1961)

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1 inch to 1 mile (1952 - 1961)

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Stuart Morris's "Portland: An Illustrated History" is the one book on Portland's history that has to be read. It is published by The Dovecote Press ISBN 0 946159 34 3. It is available from Amazon here as well as used copies on eBay.

Another of Stuart Morris's books is "Portland - A Portrait in Colour" which contains delightful photographs and stories. Published in 2002 by The Dovecote Press ISBN - 10: 1874336911. It is available from Amazon here as well as used copies on eBay.

Stuart Morris appears again as author of "Portland in Old Picture Postcards" published in 1983 by European Library ISBN-10: 9028826475. It is available from Amazon here as well as used copies on eBay.

Another excellent book by Stuart Morris is "Portland Camera" by the Dovecote Press ISBN-10: 0946159793.  It is available from Amazon here as well as used copies on eBay.

“Portland” in the “Discover Dorset” series of books was written by Stuart Morris and published by Dovecote Press in 1989.

“Geology” in the “Discover Dorset” series of books was written by Paul Ensom and published by Dovecote Press in 1998.

“Stone Quarrying” in the “Discover Dorset” series of books was written by Jo Draper and published by Dovecote Press in 1998.

If you are interested in the architecture of Portland’s buildings then see Eric Ricketts’ book “The Buildings of Old Portland” published by Weymouth Bookshop in 1979. This may be available from Amazon and eBay although copies are rare.

“Interesting Headstones of St Georges Portland” lists thirty-one of the most interesting gravestones in St Georges. Published by Jeffrey Bros. Printers of Weymouth. It also includes a map showing the locations of these gravestones.

“Big Ope - Little Dreams” is the story of John Matthews life as a child in Chiswell from the 1930s until the end of the war. An enchanting story of a childhood now no longer possible. Published in 1990 by Artsmiths of Portland.

Caving is covered in the book "The Caves Of The Isle Of Portland" by Mike O’Connor and Nigel Graham, Published 1996 by the WCC, ISBN 0 9500433 4 6

“The Island and Royal Manor of Portland - 1750 to 1851” by J. H. Bettey is a detailed history of Portland during these formative years. This book is available in used condition from Amazon - please click here - as well as from Abe Books - click here.

“Portland: An Island History” was published by the Island of Portland Heritage Trust in 1988 and was printed by Weymouth College. This is 64 pages of oral history collected from a huge number of Portlanders. A wonderful archive of memories.

“Exported Wealth - The Story Of Stone By Sea” written by H. G. (Boy) Male was published in 1995 by Artsmiths. It is a personal and enthralling account of the quarrying of Portland stone and its transportation around the world.

“Portland Encyclopaedia” by Rodney Legg is an comprehensive collection of facts about Portland and was published in 1999 by the Dorset Publishing Company.

“Weymouth And Portland At War” M. Attwooll and D. Harrison. The Dovecote Press. 1993.

“All About Ferry Bridge” by Doug Hollings was published by him and printed by Creed Printers of Broadoak, Dorset in 1993.

“Portland: A Topographical And Historical Gazetteer” Roy Mackenzie. Self published in 1999.

“Easton Massacre”. Pamphlet published in 1978 by the Friends of St. George’s Church

“The Tragedy Of The Wrecking Of The Sailing Ships AVALANCHE and FOREST” Collated by Friends of St Andrew’s Avalanche Memorial Church. Printed by Reg Vincent of Fortuneswell 1984.

“Portland Prison Illustrated: 1848 - 2000” D. R. G. Legg

“A Good Half Dozen” Skylark Durston and Penny Protheroe. Privately published 1992.

“Characters: A Selection Of Portland Stories” Ron Smith. 1994. Published by Artsmiths.

“Characters II: A Further Selection Of Portland Stories” Ron Smith. 1997. Published by Artsmiths.

“Guide To St. George’s Portland” R. L. Weyman. 1969

“Slatts and Slubb - Portland People, Customs, Sayings in Tale, Verse and Poem” (Bob) R. W. Wollage Privately published 1976.

“Gallats and Scafflin - Portland Ramblings in Customs, Sayings in Verse, Tale, Poem and Folklore” (Bob) R. W. Wollage Privately published 1975.

“25 Years Of The Free Portland News” Artsmiths. 2003.

“It Could Only Happen On Portland” Ron Smith. Published by Artsmiths in 1983 and reprinted 2001.

“Quarry Boy” ‘Boy’ Male. Published by Artsmiths. Undated.

“Tales From The Lawnshed” Bob Wollage. Privately Published. 1997

“The Portland Year Book And Island Record 1905” Facsimile Edition Published by Friends Of Portland Museum 2005.

“Railways Of The Isle Of Portland” Martin Smith. Irwell Press 1997

“Ancient Portland: Archaeology Of The Isle” Susann Palmer. Self Published 1998.

“Isle Of Portland Railways” B. L. Jackson. Three Volumes published by The Oakwood Press. 2000

“Rail And Road Transport On The Isle Of Portland” B. L. Jackson. The Oakwood Press. Undated.

“Weymouth And Portland Then And Now” G. Pritchard and A. Hutchings. The History Press. 2012

“Britain In Old Photographs: Weymouth And Portland” Ted Gosling. Alan Sutton Publishing. 1995

“The Birds Of Chesil Bank, The Fleet And Portland Harbour” Published by Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve.  Undated.


“The Free Portland News” is delivered to all houses on Portland and is available from pubs, restaurants, etc., in the area. A great monthly read!

“Dorset Life” Magazine issue 291 (June 2003) carries a review of this website in its earlier incarnation.