Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Windmills of Your Mind - Noel Harrison

It turned out to be a very good call to leave my bed and breakfast at 05:30, to retrace steps trodden dozens of times, as by 09:00 heavy rain had set in for the rest of the day. To give those who are unfamiliar with the Isle of Portland it should be noted that all the photographs that follow were taken well within 2 square miles, mostly in the central/easterly coastal area, and I was back for breakfast by 08:00. The opening vista is across the wide expanse of the English Channel where this morning, unusually, only a single vessel was in sight namely this
Apart from a 'prile' of Lighthouses (as shown yesterday) the Island also boasts a hat-trick of Castles, 2 of which we would visit this morning both the oldest and the newest. The latter is
 a Gothic Revival Mansion built at the turn of the 18th Century.
Click Link to read more.
Just across the road is the latest addition to Portland architecture built on the old Perryfields Quarry site. From there and just a few steps on you reach the top of the footpath leading down to Church Ope Cove.
 Portland isn't blessed with too many trees so this is an area that has been cherished over the years. History abounds here as we pass under the
 Gothic Arch leading to
Saint Andrew's Church but a more accurate description would be Church's (plural). While there is evidence of Iron Age occupation here a number of ecclesiastical buildings have dominated the site since the early 1100's. It may also be noticed that gravestones exist inside the walls of the church.
This is said to have occurred when the building was extended into the attached cemetery while leaving the stones in place. This stone, one of those within the walls, was also damaged by bombs in World Wat II, with the scars not showing too well on this image.
Other stones have been uprooted and placed where best seen.
These 2 Sarcophagus hold most interest and memories for me as along with my 2 daughters, in their formative years, we would visit them on occasion and i would point out the
Scull and Crossbones
on the higher of the 2 and relate stories of Piracy and Smugglers.
While these yarns were warmly welcomed, truth of the matter is
these graves were those of perfectly respectable Portland people.
Commanding prime position above all of these is
(more to follow)
While further down the cliff is the tranquil
This mornings damp atmosphere had brought out lots of
as I plodded up the
Stairway to Heaven
looking down occasionally at the changing aspect of
Church Op Cove
and upward at the towering rock face.
synonymous with Portland.
Reaching the top, best views are had of the 15th Century
(east face)
(west face)
Most pleasing MILE STONES strategically placed around the Island.
The Castleated entrance to Pennsylvania Castle and Cottages.
The course of the old Weymouth to Portland Railway
looking East and West.
Wandering back through what has now become Horse Stables
Portland's Windmills 
The two great remaining ancient buildings in the Royal Manor. These windmills were first recorded in the Land Revenue Accounts of 1608 but they were probably over a century old by then.
They were owned by the Pearce family from the 1600s to the 1899. According the historian Richard Crumbleholme relief was given to the millers in the early 1700s for earthquake damage.
By the 1960s no attempt had been made to preserve these shells and the main shaft of one was still in tact. This is now in Portland's museum.
and finally, the EIGHT KINGS
Public House at Southwell but a little early for me!
Windmills of Your Mind is the signature tune to the film The Thomas Crown Affair 
It is hoped all of today's LINKS will prove useful to further reading. 

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