Portland, Dorset (1)

Posted: May 19, 2016 in Dorset, History, Landscape, UK
Tags: ,

Portland in Dorset is not an island but an isthmus, as it remains connected to the mainland by a narrow spit of land. It is 4.5 miles long and 1.7 miles wide and rises to 400 ft above sea level at the northern end.

Chesil beach which connects Portland to the mainland

Chesil Beach which connects Portland to the mainland

It is a large piece of limestone  of exceptional quality and is much in demand as building stone. Portland stone was used By Sir Christopher Wren for the rebuilding of London, including St Paul’s Cathedral and around 50 other churches, following the Great Fire in 1666. It was also used for the Cenotaph in Whitehall; War grave headstones in France and Belgium and the UN building in New York.

Portland coast

Portland coast

 

Loading Station - Portland stone loaded directly into barges below for transportation

Loading Station – Portland stone loaded directly into barges below for transportation

It has a strong military connection dating from 1539 when Henry VIII built a castle on Portland (together with Sandersfoot castle at Wyke Regis on the opposite side of Portland bay) to defend the bay from the French and Spanish. In 1872 the newly enclosed Portland harbour became a naval base, which it remained until recent years when facilities were transferred to other ports.

Portland castle (from Sandersfoot Castle)

Portland castle (from Sandersfoot Castle)

 

Prrtland Harbour

Portland Harbour

 

More recently the bay has been developed as watersports venue and was the location of the 2012 Olympics sailing competitions.

Olympic Rings on Portland heights commemorating the 2012 Olympics venue

Olympic Rings on Portland heights commemorating the 2012 Olympics venue

Comments
  1. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Love Portland

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