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.