Dorset OPC


Dorset OPC
An old postcard of Fortuneswell, courtesy of Mark Houseby

Portland is a peninsula of only 4½ mile length, off the south Dorset coast. It is almost cut off from the land, only being connected by the shingle bank known as Chesil Beach. The island is one mass of stone which is world renowned, the quarries have been in continuous use since the start of the 17thC and famous buildings such as St Paul's Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament are built from Portland Stone.  Portland Castle was erected in 1520. In 1847 a breakwater over two miles long was constructed to provide a very sheltered harbour to the north of the isle.

The long history of the isle is inextricably linked with quarrying, shipping and the navy and fishing. The convict prison at one time housed 900 hundred inmates, many of whom worked in the quarries. St Andrew's Church which was erected in 1487 fell into ruins in Victorian times and a chapel of ease replaced it in 1879. St George's was built in 1706. The lower church of St John was erected in 1839. There were several Methodist chapels and there is a Catholic church. In 1861 the population was 8466 and in 1891 was 9443.

St Georges
St George's Church, photograph courtesy of Mark Houseby ©

Portland is a very populous parish and several people are transcribing the records.
Bob Stone is the OPC for Portland

Census To date complete census are online for
1841 Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
1851 Dist1a, Dist1b, Dist1c, Dist1d, Dist1e, Chesil Prison
1861 Dist 1, Dist 2, Dist 3, Dist 4, Dist 5, Dist 6a, Dist 6b
1871 Fortunes Well - part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4,
1871 Chisel & Castleton, Reforne, Weston, Southwell, Wakeham, Easton P1, Easton P2, Easton P3, Portland Prison
1881 Dist 1, Dist 2, Dist 3, Dist 4&5, Dist 6, Dist 7a, Dist 7b, Verne, Prison Pt1Prison Pt2, Vessels
1891 Fortunes Well - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Parish Registers St George's Church Baptisms
1731-1760, 1761-1779, 1780-17991800-1812,
1813-18241825-1834, 1835-18441845-1854,
St George's Church Marriages
St George's Church Burials 
1731-1779, 1780-18121813-18241825-1844,  
, 1865-1880
Independent Chapel, Chiswell

Baptisms, 1829 - 1837

St John the Baptist Church
Baptisms 1847-1880
& Burials
St Peter's Church
Baptisms 1872-1880

Portland Strays
Baptisms from Weymouth & Melcombe Regis
Portland in 1837 A Week in the Isle of Portland in 1837 - An article from the Penny Magazine, with woodcut illustrations
Portland in 1848 An Excursion to Portland circa 1848
Portland in 1858 An Article on Portland in 1858 from a publication by Charles Dickens
Postal & Commercial Directories Pigots 1844, Hunts 1851, Harrod's Directory's 1865 and Kelly's Directory 1895 
Portland Year Book 1905 A link to Paul Benyon's Transcription of this book.
Place Names A list of Place Names  
Photographs Portland From Old Postcards 1
Portland from Old Postcards 2.
The Images of Dorset web site provides good photos of Portland 1 & Portland 2
Wills Wills, Administrations & Inventories
Monumental Inscriptions St George's
St John's
Maps The 1891 Ordnance Survey maps of the parish can be seen at the old-maps site, just enter 'Portland' under place search.
The excellent photographs below are courtesy of the FreeFoto.Com web site, there are more Portland photos on their site. For modern location maps visit:-
Chesil Beach 
Chesil Beach


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