July 31, 2016 · 8:00 am
Visitors are often surprised to discover that the landscape of Portland Bill is dominated by not one but three lighthouses within an area of less than one square mile. Sandbanks and strong currents (races) have always made this stretch of coast dangerous, particularly so in the past for vessels dependent on sails and lacking modern navigation aids. Early records refer to beacons being lit to warn approaching ships of the hazards.
Eventually, in 1716, two lighthouses were built – one at shore level and one on a hill a short distance away But in 1752 the lease on the lighthouses was terminated when inspectors judged that the lights were being inadequately maintained. In 1844 Trinity House erected a white stone obelisk as a daymark and in 1869 had both lighthouses rebuilt
In 1906 the new red and white lighthouse (pictured above) was built and the original two fell into disuse. The Old Lower Lighthouse was eventually converted into a bird observatory and field centre, and the Old Higher Lighthouse became the home of Marie Stopes, the pioneer of birth control. It has now been developed as a holiday let. All three lighthouses are Grade II listed buildings.
Old Lower Lighthouse
Old Higher Lighthouse
July 29, 2016 · 8:00 am
Tout Quarry produced stone commercially from around 1750 until the 1930’s. The disused quarry was ‘reincarnated’ in 1983 as a sculpture park using mainly local materials. It established a regular programme of artist residencies (the first was Anthony Gormley) together with stone carving and sculpture courses.
The site covers 40 acres and more than 70 exhibits (some complete, others work in progress) are integrated into the natural environment.
Tout Quarry is also a nature reserve attracting an extensive range of wild flowers, plants, moths and butterflies.
Filed under Art, Nature, Pattern, Uncategorized
Tagged as carving, environment, nature reserve, Portland, quarry, sculpture, sculpture park, stone
July 27, 2016 · 8:00 am
Portland is a small island – approximately 4 miles x 1.7 miles – off the south coast of Dorset, England, and is joined to the mainland by a barrier causeway. Throughout the centuries Portland has been famous for producing high quality Jurassic limestone used in the construction of major public buildings including, for example, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The quarrying industry began in the early seventeenth century and cranes, such as the one below, were used to load boats for shipping the stone from quays around the coast to destinations at home and abroad. A rail link with the mainland was eventually built in 1865. As the cranes became ‘redundant’ in the early twentieth century they were (and still are) used by fishermen to lower their boats from the cliff tops.
July 17, 2016 · 8:00 am
Filed under Colour, Flowers, Garden, Nature, photography, Texture, Uncategorized
Tagged as anthemis, Crocosmia, digitalis, eryngium, garden, hebe, July, lavatera, penstemon
July 3, 2016 · 8:00 am
Each year I look forward to the first white poppy – a Perry’s White. – in early June. The flowering period is short – especially if there is rain or strong winds – but there is so much to enjoy about this delicate and elegant flower, both in totality and through closer observation.
Filed under Colour, Flowers, Garden, Nature, Pattern, photography, Uncategorized
Tagged as garden in June, natural pattern, Perry's White, white flower, white poppy