Portland Year Book


Portland Year Book 1905


787. In the reign of King Brithric, first came three ships of Hretha Land (Denmark). The officer who commanded here for the King went to them and endeavoured to compel them to come to the Kings vill, as not knowing whence they came, but he was slain by them. These were the first ships of the Danes that arrived in England, according to the Saxon annals, which do not mention the place where this happened. The Chronicle of S. Neots and most of our historians fix it at Portland.


837. Duke Æthelhelm assisted by the Dorsetshire forces, fought, the Danish army at Portland and after a long engagement defeated them. But the Danes remained masters of the field of battle and killed the Duke.


982. According to Matthew of Westminster and Hoveden, the Danes landed at Portland in three ships and plundered the Island.


Bow and Arrow Castle is supposed to have been built by William Rufus.

1042. King Edward the Confessor granted to the Church of Winchester the manor of Portland.

1052. Earl Godwin came from Bruges, in Flanders, with a fleet to invade England. He touched the Isle of Wight and sailing westward plundered Portland.


1100. The first Parish Church of Portland probably existed on the site of the old S. Andrew's Church.

1142. The Earl of Gloucester took possession of Bow and Arrow Castle for Queen Matilda.


In the rein of Edward I the island was purchased by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester.


1404. French landed at Portland, but were repulsed.

1457. Hollinshed records : " In November, 1457, in Portland was seen a cock coming out of the sea, having a great crest on his head, a great red beard and legs half a yard long. He stood in the water and crowed three times and every time turned himself about, and beckoned with his head North, South and West. He was in colour like a pheasant and when he had crowed he vanished."

1475. St. Andrew's Church dedicated.


1536. Portland Castle erected about this year. Some of the walls are 14 feet thick.

1538. Leland writes : " This arme of the sea runneth up farther a mil as in a Bay to a point of land where a Trajectus ys ynto Portlond by a long causey of pible and sand.,

1576. The Earl of Pembroke was " head stewarde " of the Manor of Portland (also Weymouth and Wyke).

1587 and 1596. The Island was fortified.

1588. The second engagement between the English Fleet and the Spanish Armada was fought off Portland Bill.

1588. Coker records " at this place (Portland) in the year 1588 the Spaniards, with their supposed invincible armie shewed to land, but being prevented by the English between them there begun in sight of all the coast, such a fight that they were forced to acknowledge their armie invincible, and to shift for themselves."


1610. Whitehall banqueting house was built of Portland stone.

1634. The Bible used in the old S. Andrews Parish Church (which is now in the Dorset County Museum), dates from 1634. It was sold, along with the Queen Anne prayer-book, at a vestry meeting in 1730.

1643. The Parliamentary forces became masters of the Island, but surrendered it on the arrival of the Earl of Carnarvon.

1643. In the Civil War the Parliament very early made themselves master of the Isle and Castle, and on May 1, 1613, Bury, their treasurer, made a charge for payment of soldiers here.

1644. Colonel William Ashburnham besieged in Portland Castle for 4 months.

1615. The Parliamentarians regained possession of the Island. Among the terms of agreement was the following, " They shall have no preacher preferred unto them, but such as is orthodox and without any just exception."

1646. Portland Castle surrendered to Parliament .

1647. April 13. There was an order of Parliament that forces at Portland be reduced to 50.

1650. The Jerseymen much infested the coast and gave the Parliament some trouble.

1653. From February 18 to 20, a great naval engagement took place off Portland between the English under Blake and the Dutch under Van Tromp, which continued for three days, and resulted in the total defeat of the latter, with the loss of 11 men of war and 30 merchantmen,

1660. The Duke of Lauderdale was confined in Portland Castle by order of Cromwell.

1665. The Grant Fund was instituted by Charles II, by which a royalty of 9d for every ton of stone quarried from all parish or commonableland is payable for the use of the inhabitants and 3d to the crown.

1665. The great Pier was destroyed by a big landslide

1676. This is the earliest date decipherable, on a tombstone in the old S. Andrew's Churchyard. The name on the stone is Attwooll.

1694. Another great landslide occurred at Portland.

1698. There were only 80 Island ratepayers in this year.


1700. St Paul's Cathedral finished about this time, was built of Portland stone taken from the part now known as East Weirs.

1700. There is a fragment of Reeve staff preserved at Southwell, bearing this date and the letters " "W.W."

1708 (Nov. 29th), 7 Anne. Confirmation of a warrant of Nov 3rd, granting to the inhabitants of the Isle of Portland 12d for every ton of stone dug in the commons on the Island (excepting stone taken for King's use by Warrant of Surveyor, Works). Power to inhabitants to dig, stone according to ancient custom. Out of every 12d, 9d to be held by trustees for inhabitants during Queen's life, the 3d remaining to be accounted for in manner accustomed.

1716. The first lighthouses erected at Portland (upper and lower).

1720. The oldest perfect Reeve staff in existence dates from this year. It is kept at the "George" Inn.

1732 Coker records, "On the South point stands the onlie church, soe near the sea that for safetie of it, they have been forced to wall the churchyarde banks almost of an incredible height, so that it even afrighte one to look down.

1734 (Dec.) There was a great landslide at the north-east end of the Island. A new pier and road had to be built.

1740. The population was about 2,000 and the ratepayers about 180.

1746. Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, visited Portland (June 5) and "confirmed and comforted" the little Methodist " Society," besides preaching in various parts of the Island and writing a famous hymn.

1752. Last recorded burial in S. Andrew's Churchyard.

1754. S. George's Parish Church was begun in this year.

1755. A cart loaded with 2. tons of stone fell over the head of the King's Pier and rolled down 100 feet without doing any other damage than breaking two of the horses ribs.

1756. Services transferred from the old S. Andrew's Church to the " Tabernacle" for ten years. An Act of Parliament was obtained for completing the new church of S. George and enclosing a burial ground.

1763. (August 19). The sea rose 10 feet. and retired instantly The same curious phenomenon was observed at Plymouth.

1764. The new church of S. George was completed.

1766 (July 29th). S. George's Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Bristol. King George II gave 500 to the Church. The register at S. George's Church dates from this year.

1768. The Reeve staff in this year way held by the great-grandfather of Mr. W. Lano Pearce, of Wakeham

1770. In this year Portland stone sold for 9d per cubic foot. The year's stone export from the island was 9,000 tons. Wm. Nelson, who first introduced Methodism to Portland about the year 1743, died March 10th.

1772. The Vestry called on every male inhabitant, able-bodied, to labour at digging a ditch to drain the churchyard at S. George's.

1776. Thomas Gilbert, architect of S. George's church, died in this year.

1780. A Cowes vessel (40 tons) was driven into Cave's Hole cavern.

1782. There were 280 houses on the Island - Southwell 27, Weston 15, Wakeham 47, Easton 64, Fortune's Well 27, Chesil 100.

1789. The lower lighthouse was rebuilt.

1791. Robert Carr Brackenbury, of Raithby Hall Lincs., who established the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Portland, first visited the Island on October 30, 1791, and started " preaching, in his own house." .

1792. Anther landslide is recorded. (Feb. 13).

1792. The Land Tax assessors in this year were Robert Mitchell and James Walter. The magistrates who signed the assessment were W. M. Templeman, J. H. Brown and T. Meggs. The total assessment was 88 8s 5d

1792. The old Wesleyan Chapel in Fortune's Well built by Mr R. C. Brackenbury at his own expense.

1791. The design of a breakwater was first mooted by Mr John Harvey, of Weymouth.

The old breakwater extends 2 and a quarter miles into the sea and forms a roadstead four miles in extent. The second breakwater was begun in 1894. The harbour covers 2,107 acres of water.

1794. House purchased by Mr Brackenbury at Wakeham for Wesleyan Chapel and licensed for public worship.

1795. (Nov.) Great gale at Portland. A number of warships belonging to a Fleet under Admiral Christian were wrecked on Chesil Beach, and over 1,000 men were drowned.

1795 (Nov. 18.) Wreck of the " Golden Grove" on Chesil Beach. One survivor.

1798. S. George's Church roof taken down.


1800. Stone was sold for 9d per foot on the Island.

1800. A quarryman's wage in this year was 2s 6d per day.

1803. An old account book of stone made in Goslins by J. Wallis and Company (of five quarrymen) shows that they quarried during the half year ended December 31st, 1803, no less than 209 tons 14 ft. 6 inches of stone at 9s per ton 94 10s 10d.

1803. A press gang came into violent collision with some Portland quarrymen at Easton. Richard Flann (42), A. Andrews (42), and W. Lano. (26) were killed, and several others injured.

1804. For the first half year ending June J. Wallis & Company's output of stone was 131 tons, 6 ft. 6 in., at 9s per ton, 59 2s 7d

1804. Half year ending December, 146 tons, 4 ft 6 in., at 9s, 66 4s 11.5d

1804. A company of Portland Volunteers, raised by John Penn, who was captain, and Henry Lowman, lieutenant.

1805. (Feb 1st) "Earl of Abergavenny," East. Indiaman, struck on the Shambles and foundered off Portland. 270 persons drowned.

1811. The Rev. Daniel Addison, a well known Rector of S. George's, died in this year.

1815. (March 27th), East Indiaman "Alexander" wrecked on Chesil Beach, 140 drowned 5 saved.

1816. Charles Whittle and Robert Hinde, and other Methodists expelled for their belief in witchcraft. They founded another church

in Chesil but returned to the Methodist Society in 1826.

1818. Portland Castle granted to the Rev John Manning by the Duke of York. It is now a military residence In some parts the walls are from 12 to 14 feet thick.

1818. Robert Carr Brackenbury, who established the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Portland, died at Raithby Hall, Lincolnshire, August 11, 1818, aged 66.

1823. First-remembered Sunday School treat. " Beef and plum pudding dinner at the Crown Hotel, Chesil."

1824 (Nov. 23rd). Terrific gale. Unknown number of vessel, lost in the West Bay. H.M.S. " Ebenezer " 95 tons, was carried by the huge seas right over Chesil Beach and subsequently launched in Portland roads.

1824. There were 393 inhabited houses and 421 families.

1824. In St. George's Churchyard :-"Sacred to the memory of William Hansford, aged 64 years, who was killed on the 23rd Nov. 1824, by the sea overflowing the village of Chissel. His leg was broken in attempting to make his escape. Afterwards the house fell on him."

1825. Congregational Church established.

1825. (August 7th), Wesleyan Chapel opened in Wakeham by the Rev George Smith, the friend and colleague of Mr R. C. Brackenbury.

1825. In consequence of disasters and deaths subscriptions were canvassed for erecting a bridge to replace the old and dangerous ferry. The old boat and rope arrangement was destroyed in the great gale 1824.

1826. (Oct.) The Merchants' Railway opened at Portland.

1826. Stone was first carried on the new railway.

1826. The "Weymouth Packet" was run down by an unknown foreign brig. Ten of the crew and six passengers drowned.

1827. Congregational Chapel erected and enlarged 1828.

1827. (Sep. 2.) Ferry Bridge commenced. An Act of Parliament authorising the work was obtained in 1835.

1827. (Sep. 20.) Horse racing introduced into Portland.

1827. Death of " Master Harry," at one time the only day school master on the Island. "Little Bobby" (no less celebrated) succeeded him, and gave way to J. B. Scriven. "Little Bobby" became first master of the British School opened June 13, 1827.

1831. Baron Gustavus Nolcken died at Portland. There is a memorial tablet in St. George's Church.

1831 There were about 500 quarry-men in a population of 2,670

1832. Death of the Rev George Smith, who with Mr Brackenbury, established Methodism in Portland in 1791.

1832. Price of wheat per bushel 7s (December.)

1834. John Penn, grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania and governor of the Island, died in 1834.

1835. Rateable value 1,375

1835. Poor rate 6d in the produced 43

1835. Land tax 67.

1835. Number of houses 581.

1835. Annual value of arable land, 10s per acre.

1835. Annual value of meadow, 20s

1835. Rent of cottages, 30s to 4 per year Farmhouses 5 per year

1836. Wesleyan Chapel established at Southwell.

1837. The Rev Harrington (Rector of S. George's) established the first Church Sunday School.

1838. (Nov 29) Wreck of a schooner on Chesil Beach. 16 persons drowned.

1838 (June 28) Queen Victoria, Coronation observed as a national holiday. Tea and cake for the school children on the Beach, after service at church.

1839 (October) Great gale. Nine wrecks on Chesil Beach. Only one crew saved.

1839. Portland Methodists celebrated the first centenary Year of Methodism

1839. The first Ferry Bridge was built in pursuance of an Act, 5 and 6 William IV.

1839. St. John the Baptist church was erected this Year. It is a Gothic structure of Portland stone, with chancel, nave, and Square tower containing three bells

1839. The register of St John's Church dates front this Year.

1840. St. George's churchyard enlarged

1840 (January 24) A pirate vessel " Saggatareo ' lost on Chesil Beach. Crew saved

1840. Several cart-loads of bones (including those of Boar, oxen, deer, horses, wolves, and sheep) were unearthed in a quarry on the north-east side of Portland.

1840. Primitive Methodists first held services in Portland

1840. St. John's Church consecrated (Oct 6)

1840. Portland Royal Dispensary established.

1841. Dr. G. H. Lilley records that after a remarkable groundswell for several days the blue clay underneath the pebbles on Chesil Beach was laid bare for miles

1841. Jubilee of the establishment of Methodism in Portland.

1841. The Wesleyan School at Fortune's Well was built for 200 children

1844. An obelisk, 30 ft high, was erected by the Trinity House at the Bill as a land mark for ships.

1845 (May 15). Fortune's Well Wesleyan Day School Opened.

1846 What is now regarded as the Historic Court Leet of 1846 made its famous presentment as to the right, customs, Etc of the Island Manor.

1847. The Government paid 20,000 for the tenants' rights at Portland in connection with land acquired for the Verne Citadel and the East Weir Half was given to the tenants and the other invested for the benefit of the inhabitants 4,000 going to the Ferry Bridge, 1,000 to the Dispensary and 1,000 for waterworks.

1847. Mrs Brackenbury, who died in this year left by her will 100 to the Methodist School, 19 guineas each to the Sunday school and the poor of the society, and 19 guineas to the poor of the Island.

1847 (May 11th). The Act authorising construction of Portland Harbour received the Royal assent.

1848. The Convict Prison was established in this year.

1848 (Nov. 2Ist) First convicts arrived Portland. They came by boat from Portsmouth on the "Driver" and landed at Castleton in charge of Weymouth police and coastguard Pepperell, Cleall, Ball and Fisher. They climbed over the common up the hill and then across Kings Barrow to the Prison.

1848 (July 25) H.R.H. Prince Albert laid the foundation stone of the first Portland breakwater the 12th year of Queen Victoria's reign

1850 A silver model of the Reeve staff of the loyal Manor was presented to Queen Victoria.

1850. Primitive Methodist Church established.

1851. A stone coffin (Romano-British) containing the remains of two persons was dug up at Portland.

1852. Cosens and Co., Ltd.. established.

1852. The crown was assessed at 48 15s for the Common.

1852. The Merchants' Railway (in the name of John Foot and Roper Weston) was assessed at 500 (rateable).

1852 The overseers in this year were Ambrose S. Pearce and Henry Spencer: the churchwarden was J. B. Scriven

1852 The rateable value of late Island was 5,597.

1852. A poor rate of 1s 3d in the produced 318 The excused list was 5 15s. and the voids 25.

1852. There were 1,180 assessments charged with the poor rate..

1852. The tithes were assessed at 215 rateable value, the Rev David Hogarth being the Rector.

1852. Portland Castle was assessed at 30 and lighthouses, 80 ; Pennsylvania Castle 81

1854. Easton Wesleyan Church built.

1856. The Gas Works were established at Portland by private enterprise.

They were acquired by the District. Council in 1900.

1856. James Meadows Rendall, who designed the breakwater and directed its execution, died in this year. John Coode, who was the resident engineer from the commencement afterwards took charge of the work and completed it.

1857. Bible Christian Connexion established at Portland.

1857 St John's National School was built for 500 children.

1857 St. George's National School at Reforne built to accommodate 440 scholars.

1858. Small chapel erected by Primitive Methodists in Chesil.

1858. The present Congregational Church was opened.

1858. Weston Wesleyan Chapel built.

1859. (Sept 1). The first lightship was placed at the Shambles.

1860. Primitive Methodist Chapel built at Weston.

1860. Portland Artillery Volunteers enrolled.

1860 Verne Citadel built.

1860. The year's export of Portland Stone exceeded 40,000 tons, exclusive of convict labour for the breakwater

1865. Weymouth and Portland Railway opened.

1865. St. John's became a new parish.

1867. Portland made a Primitive Methodist circuit.

1867. Portland's modern Local Government dates from this year. Local Board of Health elected May, 1867.

1867. Mr (afterwards Sir) R. N. Howard elected Clerk to the Local Board of Health.

1867. First district rate, 8d in the .

1868. First part of the Breakwater completed

1868. The Catholic Church, dedicated to Our Lady and S. Andrew, was built in this year.

1868 In this year the local Board of Health were discussing a proposal to light the Island with gas.

1868 Easton and Church Hope Railway begun. The line was not opened until 1902.

1869. Volunteer Drill Hall erected.

1869. Considerable distress prevailed on the Island at this period.

1869. Primitive Methodist Chapel, Fortune's Well, erected.

1869. The inhabitants petition against the establishment of the Convict prison.

1869. (Aug 11). A convict named Hatheridge was hanged at Dorchester for murdering a prison warder.

1869. (Aug 14). Eight Portlanders journeyed to Portesham taking with then screwjacks. They lifted the Hellstone Rock weighing 16 tons and placed it again on its pillars after it had laid on the ground for more than 200 years.

1869. Both the old Portland lighthouses were pulled down the present ones taking their place.

In 1869 a general district rate of 8d in the on 17,389 produced a gross sum of 579 13s 1d on houses and 18 18s 8d on land (laud rated at d there was an allowance of 31 for voids, 12 19s 10d for excused list. The net produce of the rate was 521 8s 2d.

1871. Great depression in the Stone Trade.

1871. Street lamps in Underhill lighted with gas by the Local Board of Health.

1871. Local inquiry by an inspector from the Home Office into the sanitary condition of the Island.

1872. Star of Portland Lodge of Good Templars established.

1872. A school for prison officers' children was built to accommodate 380.

1872 Streets in Tophill district lighted by gas.

1872. Drainage scheme for the Island.

1872. Tophill district supplied with gas.

1872. (August 10th) H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (the present King Edward VII.) laid the last stone and declared the breakwater complete. J. T. Leather was the contractor for the work.

1872. (November 25th). Loss of the " Royal Adelaide " on Chesil Beach. 60 saved, 7 drowned.

1872. In the gale which wrecked the Royal Adelaide some Stormy Petrels were washed up on Chesil Beach.

1872. (August 27). St. Peter's Church, the Grove, was opened. It was built of Portland stone by convict labour.

St. Peter's Church is a modern stone building, principally for prison officials. I was built by convict labour, and cost 2,400. It is in the Byzantine style of the twelfth century and was designed by Sir Edmund Duncan.

1873. The street lamps in Fortune's Well were at this time reported to be lighted by public subscription.

1874. Rev. H. Jenour, first vicar of St. John's, died. He was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. T. Ottley.

1875. There were in this year 461 tenants of the Manor, the rent due to the Reeve being 15 5s 8d.

1876. St. John's Church renovated and enlarged.

The living is worth 256 a year, with five acres of land and a residence.

1876. Reforne and Grove provided with gas lamps to the streets.

1876. Joint Port Sanitary Authority formed for Weymouth Borough and Rural District and Portland.

1877. Portland's School Attendance Committee dates from this year, Sir R. N. Howard being the first clerk.

1877. Loss of the Avalanche and Forest (Sept. 11th). The ships collided at night, west of Portland. Eighty-nine of the crew and passengers of the Avalanche were drowned and three saved. Twelve lost from the Forest and nine rescued. Both vessels sank, and the survivors taking to boats were rescued the next morning by Portland fishermen

1878. The sixpenny grant charged on stone raised from all Crown quarries for Royal use withdrawn.

1878. A handsome stained window was put in St. George's Church by Mr Richard Lano as a thank offering .

The yearly value of St. George's Rectory with house is 345.

1878. The Wesleyan School at Easton was built for 227 children

1879 (July 3rd). Avalanche church erected by public subscription in memory of' the Captain, passengers, and crew of the Avalanche which was lost in Collision with the Forest off Portland on September 11, 1877, consecrated by the Bishop of Salisbury. The church cost about 2,000.

1879-1892. Rev W. R. Waugh was pastor of the Congregational Church.

1881. Wm. Pearce appointed School attendance officer.

1883. (Aug 15) Portlander drowned Off the Shambles.

1883. A new lightship was provided for the Shambles.

1883. (Sept. 2nd) The sea broke over Chesil beach and did great damage The railway was destroyed for about half a mile.

1883. The G. W.R. steamer "South of Ireland" was wrecked off Warbarrow Head on Christmas Day.

1883. Congregational Church renovated

1884 (June 25) The District Council took over the Pound in Fortune's Well.

1884. Two beehive-shaped chambers about 4 ft in height and covered by stones were uncovered 3 ft. below the surface in the West Quarries Heaps of black grain were found in them. Dr. Lilley thinks these "granaries" were pre-historic.

1884 (July 31) The Council agreed to the erection of poles for the extension of the telegraph wire, from Weymouth to Portland.

In the quarter ending June 1885 there were 22 deaths and 69 births at Portland.

1885 (Nov. 20) The local Board refused to support a memorial urging the adoption of the ballot in Local Board Elections

1885 (December 17) The Board remained neutral neither assenting nor dessenting to the proposed Easton and Church Hope Railway

1885 The Salvation Army commenced work at Portland

1885 A new method was introduced of cutting the famous Reeve staff in order to shorten its length.

1885 Portland 785th Starr-Bowkett Building Society promoted on June 25.

1885. North Portland Conservative Club established.

1886. (Aug. 27.) The SS Bournemouth an excursion steamer from Torquay to Bournemouth, wrecked on the rocks below the upper lighthouse in dense fog. Crew and passengers saved. For years portions of this wreck could be seen at low tide.

1887 (Oct. 30.) Wreck of the yacht Laureate on the Breakwater. Ten drowned.

1887 (Dec 5.) William Keagh, 33, a notorious burglar, under sentence of eight years penal servitude for felony, escaped from one of the prison gangs shortly after they had left the prison. He was captured the following day hidden in the harbour master's store at Castleton.

1887 (Nov 22) A Dorset Regiment soldier fell into the Verne Ditch and was killed.

1887. North Portland Liberal Club established

1887. (March 15). Snow at Portland 5 inch deep and long icycles (sic) from house roofs

1887. (Nov) Dues to her Majesty Queen Victoria the Lady of the Royal Manor 265 14s from the Crown land, 8 5s 9d and 8 15s from commonable lands; dues to the inhabitants 24 17s 3d and 26 5s from the commonable lands.

1887 Mr J. Merrick Head was appointed Reeve and Mr W. L. Pearce Deputy Reeve at the November Court Leet.

1887. The Stone Trade was somewhat slack during the last half year.

1888 (Mar.) Barque "Lanoma" lost on Chesil Beach. 12 drowned, 6 saved,

1888 A Celtic grave was discovered on the east side of Portland,

1888 (Feb.) South Portland Liberal Club started at Reforne

1888 Jubilee hall (Easton Square) opened.

1888 Dr Allan McLean appointed Medical Officer of Health.

1889. Mr F, J. Barnes acquired the quarries the Portland Stone Co Ltd

1889. The G. W. R. Channel Islands steamship service started in July.

1889 (March) North Portland Liberal Club established.

1889 Messrs J. Merrick Head and Dr Allan McLean were the first County Councillors for the two Portland Divisions.

1890-1895. Over 6,000 was spent in sinking a shaft for a water supply at Southwell. The works were abandoned.

1890. (April 21) French Barque "Eben" wrecked during a fog in Mutton's cove.

(Oct) Brigantine "Fannie C." burnt on Chesil Beach

(Dec 26) S.S. Thames lost on Tor Rocks.

1890. The local government expenditure in 1890 was 2053.

1891. The Urban Sanitary Authority raised its first loan of 500.

1891. Whitehead & Co.'s Torpedo Factory erected at Wyke Regis.

1891. Mr F. J. Barnes purchased the works of the Stone Working and Quarrying Co. Ltd.

1891 (Dec.) Centenary celebration of the establishment of Methodism in Portland.

1893. Portland at this time possessed a Volunteer Artillery Brigade of three full companies.

1893. Dr. Lawson succeeded Dr. Allan McLean as Medical Officer

1894. Second Portland Breakwater begun.

1891. Mr J. Howard Bowen appointed clerk to the Urban Sanitary Authority.

1895. (January I). First meeting of the new Portland Urban District Council.

1895-1902 Between these years 465,012 was spent on the Portland Harbour Works.

1895. Mr E. J. Elford appointed Surveyor by the Urban District Council.

March 5, 1896. Heavy snowstorm at Portland. Drifts in Wide Street 7 ft. deep.

1895. A navvy mission was started at Portland. It was closed in 1904, consequent on the withdrawal of so many of the labourers from the Island.

1898 (Feb.) The John Pearce Portland Stone Co., Ltd., formed.

1898. The Urban District Council's scheme for a water supply from Upwey for the Island was sanctioned by the Local Government Board. The work was finished in 1899

1898. Masonic Hall, Victoria Square, erected.

1899. Brackenbury Memorial Wesleyan Church opened at Fortune's Well.

1899. The Bath Stone Firms, Ltd., acquired the Weston quarries at Portland.

1899. Mr Henry Sansom. J.P. appointed manager at Portland for the Bath Stone firms.


1900 Under the Portland Urban District (Gars etc.) Act. 1900 the Urban District Council purchased the Gas undertaking from Sir R. N. Howard for 28,656.

1900. (August.) The Stewards' quarries were purchased by the Bath Stone firms.

1900. Volunteer Drill Hall enlarged.

1900. Telephone Exchange opened in August.

1900. Portland Steam Laundry Co. established

1900. Portland Ratepayers' Association started.

1900. Portland Free Church Council established.

1901. New Liberal Club and Gladstone Hall opened in Fortune's Well.

1901. Portland was formed into a Police Division.

1901 (March 9th and 10th). Great blizzard at Portland. Snow on ground for days and on heights of Preston till middle of April.

1902. Rev. F. D. Bullock appointed curate of S. George's.

1902. Fine new organ added to Fortune's Well Wesleyan Church.

1902. New Wesleyan Church scheme inaugurated at Easton.

1902. Mr R. Stevenson Henshaw appointed Water Engineer and Surveyor by the Urban District Council.

1902. Mr G. H. Smith, jun., appointed Sanitary Inspector.

1902 (April 3). Visit of H. M. King Edward VII. to Portland.

1902. (April). S. Portland Liberal Club's new premises and Coronation Hall opened in Moorfield Road.

1902. The Yeates reservoir was finished and "cracked"

1902. Easton and Church Hope railway opened for passenger traffic.

1902. Portland Co-operative Society registered in November.

1903. (April 17). Shamrock III dismasted in the Bay.

1903. (Sept, 10). Heavy gale.

1903. (Oct. 26), Wreck of the Patria on Chesil Beach.

1903 (Nov). Eliot's Bank final dividend of 5d in the , (total dividends is 7s 11d in the ).

1903. Dr Howard appointed Medical Officer of Health.

1903. Portland Fire Brigade formed by the Urban District Council.

1903. Easton Square Gardens scheme sanctioned.

1903 (August 17) Work commenced in connection with the New Portland Railway station. Messrs J. H. Vickers, Ltd., Nottingham contractors.

1903 (September 10). The gale this day had a force of 70 miles an hour. Missions to seamen cutter sunk and other shipping casualties. Heaviest storm since 1893

1903 (October 1). While salving a Spanish steamer, wrecked on the old Breakwater some years ago, the diver found the skeleton of the captain and his dog in the cabin.

1903 (June 23). A white frost at Portland.

1903. The Sailors and Soldiers Home was acquired by the Wesleyan Methodist Connexional Army and Navy Committee Reopened Dec. 1st.

1903. New Wesleyan Manse erected at Fortune's Well.

1903. Wesleyan Sunday School centenary

1903 (June 17th). Messrs J. Lano, H. Sansom, R. Pearce, F. J. Barnes, and Robert White appointed a Committee by a meeting of Commoners to treat with the Corporation of Trinity House for the acquisition of one acre, 66 poles of land at the Bill, for a new lighthouse

1903. (Jan. 1) New Road from Easton Road to Priory opened.

1903. Portland Merchants Railway Co. declared a dividend of 28 per cent.

1903 (February). Portland Shipping Co. floated at Cardiff

1903 (April). New coaling pier commenced be Messrs Hill & Co.

1903 (May ). Visit of H. R. H. Princess Victoria to Portland.

1903 (June). Congregational Church reopened after renovation.

1903 (Nov. 28). Easton Railway Station destroyed by fire.

1903 (Dec. 12). New Breakwater damaged by a gale.

1904 (Jan. 14). Easton Square Gardens commenced

1904 (Feb. 3). High tide flooded Chesil.

1904 (April). New Police Station commenced by Messrs Jesty & Baker.

1904 New Naval Canteen commenced.

1904. Approach to Church Hope greatly improved by the Urban Council.

1904. (January 13). Mr J. Hansford appointed Gas Works Manager by the Urban Council.

1904. Mr Thornton appointed treasurer to the Urban Council at a salary of 200 per year.

1904 (April). General District Rate 3s, in the for the half-year.

1904. Messrs Wakeham Bros., commenced to build the new lighthouse at Portland Bill, which is to take the place of the upper and lower lights.

1904. The Navvy Mission Hall (built by Messrs Hill & Co., in 1899) was sold to St. George's Church for a Parish Room

1905 (Jan. 2). New Railway Station at Portland first used by the Easton and Church Hope trains.

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