Portesham with a glimpse of Chesil Beach

Welcome to Portesham, a beautiful West Dorset village, superbly located for access to the spectacular 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.

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

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To return to this page Click on 'Portesham Village' at page top, or 'Living' on main menu

Friday 8th May 2020

The pictures below sum up Portesham's wonderful camaraderie, when, along with the rest of the Nation, we commemorated 75 years since VE Day.

With military precision (taking into account the quirky 10 second delay of the chimes of St Peter's Church), expertly coordinated by our resident ex Royal Marine and Chairman of our local Branch of the Royal British Legion, Stephen James, at exactly 10.58 and 30 seconds, several of us, who Steve had strategically placed around the village, simultaneously pressed play on our mobile devices, ensuring the Last Post played and finished at 11.00 precisely, having the 2 minutes silence then followed by the Reveille.

To relive this emotive event, please press the play button below.

00:00 / 04:00

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

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. 

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 

view in more detail HERE

The inspiration for the parish map came during a presentation given in the village hall by Common Ground from Shaftesbury, the idea being to record village heritage on a map created by local people.


The group that came together to steer the map's creation comprised:-

Annie Aldridge, a teacher from the village primary school who involved local children.

Bill Halford, who dealt with history and local folklore.

John Suroweic, to provide information on geology, geography and local industry.

Graham Whitby, who dealt with ecology and landscape.

Keith Whittock, who was not only an excellent source of information about history and prehistory, but the gifted artist who drew the final map.

The map was started in 2012 with regular meetings of the steering group, articles in the parish magazine and fundraising via village cafes during which we consulted the village community about the content of the map and how and where it should be finally presented. We had great support from the local community who provided us with much information, also from the School, where a whole class devoted time to mapping out the history of Thomas Masterman Hardy, whose monument crowns the ridge to the north of Portesham.

The map was completed by September 2015 when it was formerly unveiled with its plinth on the village green by the Chair of the Dorset AONB Partnership Board, Mr Jim White MBE.

This project would not have been possible without financial contributions from the local community, the Chesil Bank Parish Council and the Dorset Ridgeway Project.

Take a walk on the wild side ...

Photography - "An April Morning Walk"

Geoffrey Thomas

Rights of Way.jpg

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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