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Portland Port and Harbour

Portland Port is a thriving commercial port on the Royal (due to its maritime importance to the Crown) Manor of Portland, and as is so close to the English Channel shipping lanes, is a perfect location for vessels of all sizes.

Since ancient times, the area has provided a haven for shipping. The Romans valued it and the Vikings even made their first raids of the mainland from here in 789!

The coastline however was notorious for shipwrecks and, long before it was built, needed a breakwater to form a proper harbour.

The breakwater and its major defence works were eventually designed by James Meadows Rendel, and consisted of a huge timber staging screwed into the seabed. It supported five railway lines for quarrying, and needed to withstand strong storms as it advanced 2 miles into heaving seas.

Once Prince Albert had laid the first stone in 1849, visitors in Victorian Dorset travelled miles to witness the millions of tonnes being laid, and by the 1860s it was the country's most expensive public project.

The Port and its tenants are now major employers locally. During the recent lockdown, may major Cruise lines used the harbour for maintenance and refits.

To learn more about its history or capabilities, you can visit their page at


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