Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Isle of Portland, Dorset

The island of Portland, in Dorset. A place absolutely full of interesting history.

Now a prison, this massive Victorian fort is called Verne Citadel. Those Victorians really knew how to build things at scale..

In the magazine tunnels, which are apparently haunted.

The Battery.

One of the many quarries: Portland limestone is famous, and half of London's historic buildings are built with the stuff.

Rabbits are bad luck on Portland. I saw this stencil in a few places.

Rufus castle: a five sided castle, originally built to defend Church Ope Cove. Now part of a bungalow's garden.

Church Ope Cove. The original harbour for the island.

The remains of Ope church.

One of the many deserted quarries.

Portland Bill lighthouse.

St George's church.

The place had been robbed the night before..

It is one of the few churches with double pulpits: the pews face the pulpits rather than the altar, as the Bible (the "word of God") was seen as being the truest element of Christianity, rather than the symbolism of the altar rituals.

The church closed because of a rather large mistake made regarding the pews: the box pews were sold (freehold and all), rather than leased to families. The law on Portland stated that these pews would then be inherited by descendants, equally split among them, and that they could not be disinherited. Therefore, a couple of generations on, the rightful owners of these pews who were legally responsible for providing for their upkeep did not care about the church, and it fell into disuse.

The extremely knowledgeable (about the whole island) Jeff. It was a pleasure talking with him.