PORTLAND: An Illustrated History by Stuart Morris


A revised updated new edition of Stuart Morris’s history of Portland, including a colour section and many additional illustrations.

Stuart Morris’s celebrated history of Portland was first published in 1985, more than 30 years ago, and a new edition covering the remarkable changes to the Island during those years has long been overdue. Despite its size, the ‘Island’ of Portland has acquired a reputation that is unique in the British Isles. Less than 10 miles square, a solid block of limestone jutting out into the Channel, Portland’s virtual isolation until early in the 19th century delayed change and gave its inhabitants a highly individual character. For centuries, quarrying, fishing and farming were its principal occupations, not to mention smuggling. Shipwrecks were plundered, and women did not take a husband until pregnant. With so rich a history it would be easy to sacrifice fact for colourful fiction. But Stuart Morris, a Portlander aware of the pitfalls, has gone back to original sources to help detail its long and eventful past. Portland has been a royal manor since Saxon times, even today it remains one of the last strongholds of open-field farming. It was fought over during the Civil War. Its quarries have provided the stone for some of Britain’s most famous buildings, as well as its lighthouses, breakwaters and prisons. Its importance as a naval base and the impact of the two World Wars have further enriched its character, leaving a legacy that is still visible today. More recently it has been designated part of the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, played host to the 2012 Sailing Olympics, and seen the growth of a broader-based economy, in which tourism and leisure are playing an increasingly important part.

Large format paperback with flaps, 270 x 220 mms
176 pages illustrated throughout, plus 16 page colour section
ISBN 978-0-9955462-0-2

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