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10th September


The Syrian Baker

A play of food, stories & hope...

Please click on any of the above

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

What's On in Portesham?

In August:

•   The Great Portesham Breakfast - The Volunteer Group         PVH         9.00        27th

In September:

•.  Tour of Britain                                                                            B3157                      10th
•   The PPP presents : "BELFAST"    07818032416 £2.50            PVH             18.30   25th

In October:

•   Portesham Arts Club presents "THE SYRIAN BAKER".          PVH            19.00   28th
•   The PPP presents  "THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN".     PVH            19.00   30th

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.


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 Ken for instigating the idea and to Keith for his invaluable assistance.


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 – just the price of a brew and cake at the café afterwards!

  • No need to book, just turn up!

  • Low impact, suitable for all abilities 

  • Not to worry if you have not walked before


Fortnightly from Tuesday 9th August at 10am

Meeting at Portesham Village Hall 

Please wear suitable clothing and footwear




We are a friendly group of locals that meet on a Monday afternoon, further details can be found on our page HERE.

If you are interested in joining, please contact Clare Rawlings on 01305 871882 

The PORTESHAM REFUGEE SUPPORT GROUP (PRSG) welcomes our first family into the village. After a successful meeting last March, attended by over 50

villagers, the PRSG was established to help our Ukrainian guests to

integrate into our community.

You can offer your help in a variety of ways, financial, practical and/or




It is now looking more than likely that Portesham was actually chartered in1024, when King Cnut gave our village to his manservant Orc.

In MMXXIV we will be celebrating our Millennium Anniversary! 

Despite research it is proving difficult to define the actual date hence the confusion and doubt arising between 1023 & 1024.
Caesar introduced his calendar in 45BC and made the 1st January the start date. However the church were none too happy with the wild parties that took place at the start of the year and in 567AD declared that having the year beginning the 1st January was an ancient mistake that should be abolished.
Through the 
Middle Ages, seven different periods were used, their start dates ranging from the 1st March to the 25th December with countries using different systems for 
religious or civil needs.
In England, from the 7th to the 12th century AD, the civil year started on 25th December, from the 12th century to 1751 it started on the 25th March and from 1751 started
 as we are now.    Let's not even think about Leap Years!

The Dorset History Centre (Dorset Council) has the original Charter, the main body
being in Latin, and is dated 1024 but in Roman numerals, MXXIIII (in the old, old style :-)). The boundaries of Portesham are written in Anglo Saxon and the list of the names at the bottom are probably Runic.

With grateful thanks to the Ilchester Estate for allowing its reproduction, to villager Jo Hearton of Dorset Council's History Centre (using their catalogue reference D/FSI Anglo Saxon Charter 2 Recto), to Archivist Dr Mark Forrest and to County Archivist Sam Johnston for their invaluable knowledge, advice and research.

A page has been created here on POSSUM1000  in preparation.
Contact us with your ideas and they'll be added to our next POSSUM1000 meeting in The Kings Arms!


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.

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 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! 


Please keep a regular watch on our calendar here:

Monday Lunch Club    12.00  -  14.00                        

Monday Table Tennis Club  14.30 - 16.30                                  

Monday Bridge Club     13.30 - 16.30                                            

Monday  Cubs    18.15 - 20.00.                                                      

Tuesday Margaret's Friendship Cafe  10.00 - 12.00                     

Tuesday  Portesham WI   second Tuesday of the month            

Wednesday Pilates with Claire Myers 10.00 - 11.00                                   CMPilates@live.co.uk

Wednesday  Badminton Club   17.30 - 19.30                              

Thursday Zumba classes with Christine Voce  09.30 - 10.30             christinevoce56@gmail.com

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

Friday Strengthen & Stretch with Christine  09.00 - 09.45                  christinevoce56@gmail.com

Friday Gentle Strength with Christine  10.15 - 11.00                          christinevoce56@gmail.com

Friday  Beavers      17.00 - 18.15                                                  



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

The Kings Arms Hotel -

Who knew!


Where are we here?


Up at the quarry

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 160 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.


Advertise your Portesham group or business
Leave us a short message on the subscriptions page

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

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


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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  2020   -  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 >

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

Stoat 6
Stoat 6

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Stoat 5
Stoat 5

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Red Deer
Red Deer

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Stoat 6
Stoat 6

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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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