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Villager David Blackwell has created a couple of family friendly quizzes based around the village. Go to Living in the menu and then Millennium Family Quizzes. You have from now, 29th April, until our Fayre on Saturday 27th July to send in your answers to 07818032416. Every correct answer will be put in a hat at the Fayre and the first 3 drawn, of each quiz, will win one of our coveted limited edition mug & pen sets!

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As you scroll up, click on any red text for further information:

Would you like to advertise, amend or add something to the site?

Then please contact us here, we'd love to hear from you!

Welcome to PORTESHAM, a beautiful West Dorset village, superbly located for access to the  World Heritage Jurassic CoastSouth West Coastal Path and South Dorset Ridgeway, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and only a short drive from Weymouth, Dorchester or Bridport.

Find out what's going on in the locality, join a group, volunteer, or phone a plumber - you'll find all sorts of useful information here on our community website.


Photo courtesy of Ming Mok

Dorset Group of Photographers

May 10th 2024

An extreme G5 (highest level) geomagnetic solar storm hit Earth on Friday allowing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) to be visible throughout the UK.

Generally, in the northern hemisphere, this activity only occurs within the natural aurora belt, between 60 and 75 degrees north. Charged particles from the sun collide with gases in our atmosphere around the magnetic poles.

The colours are the result of which gas is hit:

oxygen = shades of green

nitrogen = purple or blue

Such an incredible phenomenon to happen and in our millennial year!


1024 - 2024
It's happening, MMXXIV 2024 is our Millennial year and we have started to celebrate, along with our sister village, Abbotsbury.
All the latest details may be viewed on

The original charter was discovered amongst the archives in The Dorset History Centre (Dorset Council) and we hope to show it on the village green, the other side of the large ordnance survey map of our area.  The main body is in Latin, dated 1024 in Roman numerals, MXXIIII, and the boundaries of Portesham are written in Anglo Saxon. We've also managed to decipher the unusual symbol which heads the charter!

We must thank the Ilchester Estate for allowing its reproduction, villager Jo Hearton (recently retired from the Dorset Council's History Centre)Archivist Dr Mark Forrest & County Archivist Sam Johnston for their invaluable knowledge, advice and research.
     ...also to Bruce for the logo design and to John N for his arduous  work in creating our new plaque.


Millenium Plinth 9 April


Did you know that all through our dank, wet winters there are places in the village where you can meet up, have a chat and a cuppa – and they are free! (although donations are always welcome).




FRIDAYS      10 - 12              WARM WELCOME CAFE



Margaret & Tricia will also be hosting Warm Welcome Soup & bread lunches in the village hall @ £6.00 per meal between midday and 14.00 on the following Saturdays: 27th January,17th February & 23rd March.


Did you also know that on the first Monday of every month there is a VILLAGE LUNCH in the Village Hall – 12 for 12.30 sherry or fruit juice, 3 choices of main course, 3 of desserts, tea, or coffee - all for the princely sum of £5.00 Please call Anita Buckland on 01305 871750 if you would like to come – or if you would like to cook!    n.b.  Christmas Lunch on 4th December costing £6.00

What's On in Portesham?                                                       

In July

•   MOTOR SHOW 24                                                              Kings Arms garden.        12.00.        7th


•   Portesham Millennium Fayre.                             Portesham School Playing Fields  12.00      27th

        FREE ENTRY


Would you like to meet new friends and get some exercise at the same time?!

Why not join us for a walk of about 30 minutes and then have refreshments at the Village Friendship Café held in the Hall

  • Free and friendly –  tea, coffee, biscuits, donations very welcome

  • No need to book, just turn up!

  • Low impact, suitable for all abilities 

  • Not to worry if you have not walked before


Fortnightly from January 3rd 2023 at 10am (dates may vary)

Meeting at Portesham Village Hall 

Please wear suitable clothing and footwear


The PORTESHAM REFUGEE SUPPORT GROUP (PRSG) supports hosts in the village who have welcomed Ukrainian families into their homes.

Presently the PRSG has enough in its bank account and our monthly

outgoings are low so you may want to suspend any standing orders

from the end of March. However, should you wish to maintain your

payments we will, of course, be delighted.

Unfortunately this dreadful war shows no sign of abating and may go on for years, in those circumstances more families are likely to come to the UK and, should that happen, we hope our wonderful community will provide further support in whatever way they can.


THE PORTESHAM VOLUNTEER GROUP -  Are always delighted to welcome new volunteers to our group, be it for general tidying and gardening, assisting with our annual café and community projects or even learning the art and helping with areas of dry-stone walling. Recent volunteer work can be seen HERE

With grateful thanks for the sponsorship from the VIP   



For further details please contact any of those on our committee:

Stuart Bainbridge (Chair) 871664

Tricia Barker 871567

Susan Blackwell 871239

Keith Brignell (Treasurer) 871925

Murray Fraser 871065

Karen Hodgson 

Julie Mason 871117

David Paton 

Mary Robins (Secretary) 871408



To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee and placed on the Silver Jubilee plinth, the Volunteer Group commissioned Stephen Holehan to build this Sundial, a functioning scientific instrument, mathematically correct to its exact location.

Using the engraved Equation of time graph it is possible to calculate the precise "Clock" time.

With thanks to dear Ken (RIP)  for instigating the idea and to Keith for his invaluable assistance.


Here's an interesting shot from Portesham House's collection and quite a rare

view of the village for that period. Is there anyone out there who'd like to put a

date to it?

It looks possibly pre-railway i.e. 19th century.


MH:Main Hall RDR:Ron Doble room

Please keep a regular watch on our calendar here:


Monday First Monday (of the month) Lunch Club MH 12.00  -  14.00 check Localendar                   

Monday Table Tennis Club  MH 14.30 - 16.30                                                                             

Monday  Cubs    MH 18.15 - 20.00.                                                      

Tuesday Margaret's Friendship Cafe  MH 10.00 - 12.00

Tuesday Read Easy Charity. RDR 11.00 - 12.00

Tuesday  March 19th for 8 week trial Seated Exercise Group with AGE UK     MH 13.00 - 13.45      

2nd Tuesday of the month  Portesham WI   MH 19.15  -  21.45

Tuesday  Scouts    MH 18.45 - 20.30      check Localendar   

Wednesday Pilates with Claire Myers MH 09.30 - 10.30                                

Wednesday  Badminton Club   MH 17.00 - 18.00

Wednesday  Portesham Creatives   RDR 18.30 - 21.30    check Localendar                

Thursday Low Impact Zumba with Anne-Marie Kirby  MH 09.30 - 10.30

Thursday Short Mat Bowls Club MH 14.00 - 16.00  & 19.30 - 21.00

2nd Thursday of the month  Chesil Bank Writing Shed with Linda. RDR 19.00 - 21.00

Friday Yoga with Owen Lister  MH 08.30 - 09.30.                                     

Friday Warm Welcome Café.   MH/RDR 10.00 - 12.00

Friday  Beavers      MH 17.00 - 18.30 

Saturday   look out for our village cafés & Warm Welcome soup & bread lunches MH

Saturday Portesham Creatives RDR 09.00 - 13.00    check Localendar

Last Sunday of the month MH September to May  -  Portesham Picture Palace check Localendar                                              



Hedgehogs in your garden?

A good way to tell if you have visitors is to keep an eye out for their poo...their droppings are generally black or dark brown, sausage shaped, 1.5 to 5cm long and, from experience, quite sticky!

There is a village group, part of the Dorset Mammal group, instigated by Sarah Wooley & Graham Whitby and further details may be found here.

The clip to the top left has been supplied by Angela & Malcolm Passells portraying their rather greedy little hog! The daytime clip on the right is from Janice Grove.

Given the amount of sightings recently, it appears we have a very healthy hog population in Portesham! 

We have a few new postcards to view on the "Early Portesham Postcards" page here.

The Kings Arms Hotel -

Who knew!


Up at the quarry

Where are we here?

Portesham Railway Station


Some of Portesham House amongst others recently brought to light


The Green


The millstream ford before the New Road bridge was built in the 40's


The Kings Arms


There are plenty more in the Heritage section "Under Blackdown" and "Early Portesham Postcards".


Photo courtesy of Ruth Chipp-Marshall

You will recognise several current villagers' surnames below.

1.  Bill Vine

2.  Bill Hansford

3.  Harold Young

4.  Percy Kellaway

5.  Charles Hodder

6.  Len Harding

7.  Percy Chalden  

8.  Cyrell Godden

9.  Charlie Hodder


10.  Bill Chipp

11.  George Reed

12.  Jack Jolliffe

13.  Arthur Woodsford 

14.  Mr Read

15.  Bill Halford

16.  Major Collingwood

17.  Bill Hunt

18.  Fred Hodder 

19.  Bert Swaffield 


Are you a carer?

Portesham Surgery has a dedicated carers lead, who can support you with your caring role.

Can Social Prescribing help you?

Portesham Surgery now has a social prescribing team. They can help you focus on your health

and wellbeing by taking a more holistic approach.

Learn all about project VIP just over the hill next door, why & when it was started, the objectives and the amazing discoveries en route!

Aren't we so fortunate, living slap bang in the middle of an area of outstanding natural beauty, where archaeological finds from the earliest Neolithic (4000-2500 BC) and Bronze Age (2500-800 BC) settlements from 6000 years ago, through the 500 years of Roman occupation (late Iron Age 1st century BC to late Roman period 4th century AD) to the relatively recent Medieval times (from the 5th to 15th century AD) continue to be discovered!


Click on the above for the link to their archaeology webinars

JOIN Portesham Help & Chat Group on WhatsApp 

The place to see and contribute towards the latest village news and views
We have over 220 members now, the majority having Admin status, so there is every chance you will already know someone in it  -  just ask "that someone" to add you!


Portesham School 1932

Photo courtesy of Robin Harding's Aunty Ruth Treves-Brown (nee Harding).

There are a few relatives of Portesham Help & Chat Group members', villagers Anne, Ruth, Robin H &
Robin J and Bill's 2 sisters. Bill has kindly tried to put a name to some of the faces he vaguely recognises from when he was a pupil there, a little more recently, in 1939! 


   2  Dorothy Coombes (nee Chipp)   5  William Chipp   9 Jack Jolliffe    12 George Samways  18 Betty Hodder (nee Halford)     27 Rena Dike (nee Halford)    34 Eric Jolliffe    35 John Harding 

Read Elizabeth's short story : 

Archie Carberry's Adventures is located in: Living/Local/Village Tales












Great news!


We have new geese! 

Thanks to Graham Parker & Graham Whitby for flying them in, free of charge, from Litton Cheney,





The Mallard collection box in the Kings Arms, near their garden entrance, was opened recently and was found to contain nearly £70.00 due to some very generous donations after the sad loss of George, our village goose.  

These funds went towards purchasing duck food.

Gliding ByLucy J Hackett. #lucyjanecomposer
00:00 / 00:48

Easy listening music added here for your perusing pleasure - courtesy of local musician & composer Lucy Hackett



It's a spacious, modern hall ideally situated on the edge of our historic and picturesque village in the heart of the Dorset countryside.

With 3 rooms for hire, a small lawned garden with patio and a car park, you can hire the whole hall for a special event or any of the rooms that suit your needs.

Portesham Heritage


High above the village on Blackdown Hill, is  the magnificent 72 ft stone monument to Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy GCB, our famous 19th century resident, who fought under Admiral Lord Nelson as Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.​​

It was the most important sea battle of the 19th century, resulting in the British Navy, becoming the world's largest sea power for the next 100 years. 

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Comet Neowise   - 19th July  2020AD  -  next viewing  8786AD...

As is tradition, named after the discoverer: NASA's space telescope "Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer"

It's here >

Vice-Admiral Thomas Masterman Hardy

As Nelson died it is well documented that he was overheard by those around him to say "Kiss me Hardy"; however, the Victorian's much preferred to believe that it was "Kismet Hardy" that was said, 'kismet' being the Turkish word for FATE.

The current owners of Hardy's House have a  fascinating tale of fate and coincidence to tell you relating to the very recent discovery of the lost original sundial that started its life here, in the garden of Portesham House, nearly 250 years ago!

Read that story HERE.


Do you have a  Portesham story you'd like to share ?  Tell it HERE and read it HERE!


The Portesham Map on The Green

Created by local people to record and share their village heritage.

View it on The Green opposite the Kings Arms.

More detailed images of the map can be found on the Portesham Map page  

It's now over 50 years since this little booklet was created to celebrate the Centenary of Portesham Church School and 100 years of Portesham history.

Take a walk on the wild side ...

Photography - Copyright ©  2020  Geoffrey Thomas

Leveret - Young Hare

Our Favourite!

Dorset Rights of Way

Click on the Dorset Explorer map below to view the Pink (footpath) or Green (bridleway) Rights of Way.

Select the Base Map Icon on the right hand toolbar to turn on the Ordinance Survey map. 

Use it with Location on your mobile phone to accurately find your position along the many beautiful walks around Portesham.

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