Portland Castle was part of King Henry VIIIs plan for defending England from French invasion. The move was away from the classical huge scale castles and towards strings of defendable positions which were strategically placed to create crossfires and killing fields. The castle at Portland was built during the mid-1500’s to create a crossfire with castles in Weymouth across the harbour.
Like many defences, Portland Castle was built to repel a French invasion which never came. The structures use for storage during both World Wars means that it only ever saw real action duringt the English Civil War of the 1600’s where it was captured by the Parliamentary forces.
Originally built in the 1800’s to defend against a French invasion, the Verne High Angle Battery sits on top of Portland in Dorset next to HMP The Verne.
Although heavily modified during both World Wars, the layout and many of the earlier engravings are still present.
The battery sits at the top of the hill which overlooks Fortuneswell on the Island of Portland and features the remains eight gun emplacements and a small series of tunnels which would have been used to munitions storage.
The site is entirely open to visit but be aware that there is a large amount of broken glass around so its suitability for visiting with dogs is questionable. The tunnels in particular have a lot of broken glass in them.
I don’t regularly share personal stuff through this channel but I’d like to this time. I’ve spent the last couple of days on a bit of a family hunt on Portland where we’ve found the grave of Alice Caroline Otter and Hiram Otter. Hiram was a well known local character from the later 1800’s and left his mark on several places across the Island of Portland.
Why is this important? Hiram and Alice are my great great great grandparents. My grandmother was named after Alice and my own daughter, seen in the picture, is named after my grandmother. Being only two she’s entirely unaware of this connection but to myself and my mother this is extremely special!
I’m continuing to trace this side of my family tree and have found a distant cousin who has thus far traced the Otters back to the 1600’s!
Portland was always a special place for my family with countless memories of Summers spent on the Bill and climbing the rocks. From here it could get even more interesting!
Underpasses and Bridges – a mini series shot using Ilford Pan-F 50ISO medium format film to a ratio of 6×24. All images were photographed in and around the Portsmouth area.
It’s been a while since a post of any kind. Life is busy with teaching photography and that is ticking along nicely. More of a rythem is needed with my own blogging about my own photographic exploits.
For now here are two star trails from the weekend just gone, enjoy!