Wakeham shown within Dorset
|District||Weymouth and Portland|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||South Dorset|
The village, an ancient hamlet in its own right, features an unusually wide street, which was once originally a simple track through common greens, however the grass became eroded away as stone traffic increased, and the road was laid down.
Unlike the majority of Portland's villages, Wakeham has little commercial business in the area. The majority of the village is housing and a good amount of the houses are old cottages, built with Portland stone.
Portland Museum is located within Wakeham and close to Church Ope Cove, which is just east of the village. Founded by Dr Marie Stopes, a pioneer of birth control, in 1930, the museum continues to open during peak season to date. Pennsylvania Castle, a Gothic Revival mansion built in 1797-1800, is also located within the area and is available for private hire.
A few small businesses are based in the area, including Endicott Bert The Sweep and Dorset Treeworx Ltd. Portland Residential Home is found in the village. Accommodation in Wakeham village is the main business and includes The Alessandria Hotel, the self-contained holiday let Church Ope Studio, found close to Portland Museum, and the bed and breakfast Leam Guest House. The Alessandria Hotel is a family run hotel, with Italian cuisine. Before becoming a hotel, it was once the Alexandra Inn. The Cove Holiday Park is found on the outskirt of Wakeham and is rated five stars by Enjoy England.
The Mermaid Inn, now closed, was once open in the area. The former landlord was sent to prison for threats against his ex-girlfriend and declared himself bankrupt, giving up the pub, whilst the inn itself was the scene of interest in September 2007 when an Environmental Health Officer was grabbed by the landlord around the throat after following up a complaint about the pub's kitchen hygiene. In 2010, work began to turn the pub into a house.
Opposite Portland Museum once stood a small disused quarry where some allotments had been created. The quarry's extracted stone was used to produce thousands of gravestones for the War Graves Commission as well as stone for the War Memorial in London's Whitehall. As a result, it was agreed to leave the area untouched as a tribute to the dead of two World Wars, however in the late 1990s, an estate of houses were built.
Heading north through Wakeham and Bumpers Lane leads into Silklake Quarries, where the entrance is marked by a large carving of a head.
The village once held the Wakeham Soapbox Derby, which today is discontinued.
The Portland Branch Railway was opened to Easton in October 1900, where it traveled from Castletown to the East Weares area. Near the back of the Mermaid Inn, the line turned inland and passed under the main road from Wakeham to Southwell. In the 1980s and 1990s the track was used by heavy lorries associated with the nearby quarries around Wakeham area.
- Morris, Stuart (1990). Portland Camera. Dovecote Press. pp. Photo 67. ISBN 978-0946159796.
- "Silklake Quarry, Portland, Dorset". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Portland Museum". Portland Museum. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Good Stuff IT Services. "Pennsylvania Castle Hotel with Attached Walls - Portland - Dorset - England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Portland Residential Home - Portland". Bettercaring. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Self Catering Accommodation : Portland Dorset". Church Ope Studio. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Portland, Dorset". Leam House. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Alessandria Hotel in Portland, Dorset". Alessandriahotel.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Beechwood Associates. "Dorset Holiday Parks | Holiday Park Dorset | Cove Holiday Park Dorset". Coveholidaypark.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Mermaid Inn, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1HS - pub details#". Beerintheevening.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Former Portland pub landlord jailed (From Dorset Echo)". Dorsetecho.co.uk. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Pennsylvania Castle and Church Ope, Portland". Geoffkirby.co.uk. 2003-04-03. Retrieved 2012-11-18.