Portland Bill Lighthouse, built by the Plymouth firm of Wakeham Bros. from 1903-06, stands on the narrow promontory at the very southernmost edge of Dorset. It was built at the tip of the Bill to warn seafarers of the rock shelf there, which reaches a further thirty metres southwards into the sea. It has always been recognised as a dangerous spot. The Victorians built two new lighthouses there in 1869. Both are still there: the higher one was for many years the summer home of Marie Stopes, and the lower one is now a bird observatory. But their function was taken over when this single tall one was erected. According to the Trinity House site, "The present optic at Portland Bill is very unusual as due to the arrangement of the panels the character gradually changes from one flash to four flashes between the bearings 221°and 244° and from four flashes to one flash between bearings 117° and 141°." The lighthouse now has a visitor's centre.

Photograph, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]


"Portland Bill." The Encyclopaedia of Portland Gisotry. Web. 30 December 2019.

"Portland Bill Lighthouse." Trinity House. Web. 30 December 2019.

Created 30 December 2019