The Isle of Portland
The Isle of Portland is a limestone tied island, 6 kilometres long by 2.7 kilometres wide, in the English Channel
Portland is 8 kilometres south of the resort of Weymouth, forming the southern most point of the county of Dorset, England. A barrier beach called the Chesil Beach joins it to the mainland. The A354 road passes down the Portland end of the beach and then over The Fleet Lagoon by bridge to the mainland. Portland and Weymouth together form the borough of Weymouth and Portland.
The population of Portland is 12,400. Portland is a central part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site on the Dorset and east Devon coast, important for its geology and landforms. Portland stone, famous for its use in British and world architecture, including St Paul’s Cathedral and the United Nations Headquarters, continues to be quarried. Portland Harbour, in between Portland and Weymouth, is one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. The harbour was made by the building of stone breakwaters between 1848 and 1905. From its inception it was a Royal Navy base, and played prominent roles during the First and Second World Wars; ships of the Royal Navy and NATO countries worked up and exercised in its waters until 1995. The harbour is now a civilian port and popular education area and was used for the 2012 Olympic Games. The name Portland is used for one of the British Sea areas and has been exported as the name of North American and Australian towns.