If you are moving house, looking to start a new life in Portland or retiring to Portland, we can help you.
Are YOU a Kimberlin? Do you want to be? If you’re not from the Isle of Portland you could earn this dubious badge if you move here.
Residents of ‘The Rock’ even until recently have had among their number some folk who had never left the island. Anyone not from Portland who moves there is a Kimberlin, whether they like it or not.
Portland, which is connected to the mainland by a small causeway to Wyke Regis and Weymouth, has long been known for its little eccentricities, which are almost hewn into the rock it stands on. Think the Mont Saint Michel, but British for its construction, and Last of the Summer Wine for its population.
You are famously not permitted to say the word ‘rabbit’ here. The superstition is built on the extraordinary number of rabbit warrens that criss-cross the island, and it is feared that a mention of their name could bring the whole lot down. Try ‘long-eared furry things’ or ‘underground mutton’ instead.
Portland has had a chequered history, with many tales of smuggling (it is a perfect spot for that). It was once home to a large Naval base and has had several prisons – perhaps because if you escaped you’d have to be one heck of a swimmer…
But on a sunny day you’d be hard pressed to beat Portland. It glows.
Sailors have flocked here for years – the waters are simply perfect for all kinds of watersports. Scuba divers come from miles around to see the wonderful array of critters off Chesil beach.
The isle, which measures four miles by 1.7 miles, was even chosen to host the sailing events for the 2012 Olympics.
The population of Portland is about 13,000, so there must be a lot of kimberlins among them, perhaps drawn by the rough beauty of the cottages perched on almost vertiginous hills on their way up to Tophill.
The island is a central part of the Unesco World Heritage Site the Jurassic Coast. Quarrying has gone on here for centuries, and Portland stone is famous for its use in famous buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the United Nations Headquarters. You can visit stone carving workshops on the island.
Portland Harbour is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. It was created between 1848 and 1905 to be a Royal Navy base, and it was crucial in the First and Second World Wars.
The sight of Portland Bill never fails to lift your heart. The red and white lighthouse was refurbished in 1996 and now offers a visitors’ centre and guided tours.
A mile and a half underground is a layer of Triassic rock salt. Portland is one of four places in the UK where the salt is thick enough to create stable caves.
The history of Portland
There have been people living here since at least the Stone Age (you can almost imagine Fred Flintstone living here). It was called Vindelis by the Romans.
The Vikings landed here in 789, four years before their famous raid of 793.
Three of their ships landed at Portland Bill and when the king’s reeve tried to collect taxes from them they killed him.
Rufus Castle at Church Ope Cove was built for William II by his father William the Conqueror. The original castle is long gone, but a replacement was built in the 15th century.
Henry VIII had Portland Castle built in 1539 for defence against the French. It is one of the best preserved castles from his reign.
Six million tonnes of Portland stone were used to rebuild after the Great Fire of London of 1666. Even Buckingham Palace is partially built from it, even the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
Once, railways helped move the rock from the island, however the line was closed in the 60s and a trailway opened in its place years later. Instead, HGVs make the steep journey up and down the isle, filled with tonnes of stone.
There are still two prisons here. HMP The Verne, a former Victorian military fortress which briefly became an immigration centre for asylum seekers before being turned back into a jail. A Young Offenders’ Institution still stands on the Grove clifftop – originally built for convicts who quarried. Britain’s only prison ship, HMP The Weare, was berthed in the harbour before that idea was scrapped.
Removals service near Portland
Armishaws can move you to Portland! Whatever your removal needs we can handle it, from house removal and commercial removal to European removals and international removals, we’ve been doing this for nearly 50 years and know how to deal with any situation.
We are fully insured and have a great team to help reduce the stress of moving.
You can call us on 0800 917 1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.
Allow us to move you to or from anywhere in the UK or Europe. Our staff have been well trained in all aspects of moving homes and businesses.
Armishaws has held the BSEN 12522 certificate since 1999.
Why Choose Armishaws?
Armishaws Removals has depots all over the country, having taken over many other removals firms. While they have all kept their own branding, you can tell it’s an Armishaws company by the stellar service!
If you love the sea, there’s no place to beat Portland. Wild, wet and dramatic, the isle is an incredible place to live.
Properties on Portland had an average price of £200,775 over the last year, making it one of the cheapest places to buy a home in Dorset.
Most were terraced properties, selling for an average £195,114. Flats sold for an average of £111,268, detached properties £330,972.
Check out homes for sale on Portland here.
The A354 is the only road going on and off the island.
Buses run to Weymouth, from where you can catch other buses or a train. It’s not exactly commuter territory, with long queues forming particularly in the summer months.
There is just one primary and one ‘all through’ school on Portland. St George’s Community Primary School is in Easton. Ofsted has rated it Good. The Atlantic Academy for pupils aged 3 to 19 is based at two different sites. It has not been rated yet as it is still too new.
Weymouth College has around 7,500 students taking A-level, Btec and other courses.
Tophill rises from sea level at Portland Bill to 151 metres near < a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Prison_The_Verne”>HMP The Verne and comprises the villages of Easton, Weston, Southwell, the Grove and Wakeham.
As you reach the top you see the Portland Heights Hotel and the Cenotaph..
The Great Southwell Landslip in 1734 was Britain’s second largest recorded landslide.
Southwell was built around a natural watercourse and springs. Archaeological finds include Iron Age earth defences and Roman stone sarcophagi.
In 1959 part of the area became part of the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE), which became famous after the discovery of a Soviet spy ring in the late 50s. The establishment closed in 1999 when the navy left Portland, and it became the Southwell Business Park.
The 1960s saw housing estates built there and in the 80s hundreds of starter homes were also built. More homes were built at the start of this century.
Southwell Business Park has become successful despite its fairly remote location. The park has been home to over 100 businesses, but some of the site will become part of the ‘all through’ school.
Chiswell has regularly flooded despite flood defences installed during the 80s – however the works have largely ensured floods are not as devastating as they have been historically.
Fortuneswell is the largest village on the island.
The village was called “Fortunes Well” in 1608 – probably something to do with fortune telling and water.
A large pre-fab housing estate was built across Verne Common after the war. The new estate became part of Fortuneswell.
The Royal Manor Theatre stand here, on the site of the old cinema, which became a nightclub but was burned to the ground.
Victoria Gardens opened in 1904 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Overlooking Victoria Gardens is the old police station, which had its own courtroom. It is now Grade II listed, as are the former police homes at 1, 2 and 3 Castle Road.
There are scores of grade listed properties here, from all sorts of eras as the island changed.
Easton is a village in Tophill which includes Reforne and Straits. It is a conservation area.
The village has a small square with shops and an arcade, three churches, a park, and other facilities. There are a handful of pubs, and St George’s Centre.
The Easton Massacre in 1803 saw a press gang shoot and kill three people. A group of locals tried to stop the press gang from forcing Portland men into service. The crowd tried to rescue the first man captured, but the captain and his marines opened fire. Three were killed, two wounded and one later died of her wounds.
In 1900 Easton station was opened to goods trains, and to the public in 1902. The station is now the site of a residential home. In 1904, Easton Square was transformed into Easton Gardens.
The area is surrounded by quarries and two Portland Windmills. They are the only historic windmills in Dorset. Portland’s first major supermarket, a Tesco, was opened in Easton in 2011 – a Lidl has now opened at the gateway to the island.
Weston lies next to Easton in Tophill. It is also a conservation area, as is most of Portland.
The village was mainly agricultural, surrounded by strip fields, also known as lawnsheds.
The Romans developed Weston as a village by digging ponds and wells, however it remained a small settlement for centuries. Even in the 19th century, when many of Portland’s villages had been expanded with more housing, Weston stayed small.
But then in the latter part of the 20th century Weston saw extensive building work. A major expansion of the village took place in the 1960s, when large housing estates were built either side – both towards the cliffs and Easton. The Haylands housing estate was built in the late 60s and the Weston Estate at West Cliff – originally for the Admiralty, but was later private housing. The estate got bigger during the 70s. There are still fields all around Weston, however – it remains a spacious feeling place despite all the 20th century development.
Can’t decide between Weymouth and Portland for your new home? Get the best of both in Wyke Regis.
The village is home to about 5,500 people and sits just before the causeway to Portland on the A354.
Its church used to be George II’s place of worship when he holidayed in Weymouth.
The village was known for smuggling and the looting of wrecks – there’s a pub there called the Wyke Smugglers.
Historically the village was a big employer, as the Whitehead Torpedo Works was based there. Whitehead’s funded two schools, and led to the Royal Naval establishment at Portland becoming a major anti-submarine and torpedo warfare centre in both wars. The site, on which hundreds of locals worked on munitions, is now a housing estate.
Wyke Regis has infant and junior schools, plus a nursery in the grounds of the infant school. All Saints is a secondary school on the Portland Road.
Wyke is in a beautiful spot, looking over Chesil Beach and the Fleet lagoon, the Isle of Portland and Portland Harbour. The South West Coast Path winds around the village. Wyke Castle is a 19th century folly which has been converted into homes.
There are plenty of facilities here, and a good community spirit. There’s a BMX skate and pump track for the kids, a working men’s club for the grown ups. Several shops and takeaways line the main drag to Portland.
Whether you require long term or short term storage, our secure container storage system will ensure the safety and care of all your personal or business possessions. Whether you personally wish to store items to pass onto family and friends, store your home items while moving abroad or while you are between homes we can help.Find Out More