Wakeham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the surname, see Wakeham (surname).
Wakeham
Wakeham is located in Dorset
Wakeham
Wakeham
 Wakeham shown within Dorset
Civil parish Portland
District Weymouth and Portland
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Portland
Postcode district DT5
Dialling code 01305
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament South Dorset
List of places
UK
England
Dorset

Coordinates: 50°32′34″N 2°25′51″W / 50.542706°N 2.430769°W / 50.542706; -2.430769

The main area of Wakeham

Wakeham is a hamlet near the village of Easton, in Tophill on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England. It is situated between the Straits region of Easton, and Pennsylvania Castle at the bottom end of Wakeham. As with the rest of Portland's villages and settlements, Wakeham has been designated as a conservation area, as it is a place of special architectural and historic interest, given protection to ensure that people can continue to enjoy their character for years to come. Easton, Wakeham and Reforne were designated pre-1974.[1][2]

The hamlet features a distinctively wide street, which was originally a simple track through common greens. When traffic of the quarrying industry increased the grass disappeared, which led to the creation of the road.[3] Many of Wakeham's older buildings of the 17th and 18th century survive, with characteristic porches and stone-mullioned windows.[4] As one of the more sheltered parts of Portland, the valley between Wakeham and Church Ope Cove has a small woodland area - a rare feature on the island. The name "Wakeham" is formed from the Latin meaning of "watch-valley".

History[edit]

In similarity with other settlements on Portland, Wakeham first flourished around a natural source of water. It remains most probable that the Romans first transformed many of Portland's springs into ponds and wells, while natural ponds would be enclosed and maintained from this period. Some residences had a personal cistern. Wakeham's pump, along with the one at Easton Square, was renewed in 1877, while the hamlet's well remained in use until the island's piped water supply was activated in 1901. The pump was then removed in 1904. The hamlet's link with the Romans has been confirmed through the discovery of many burials around the area, as well as other locations on the island.[5]

In 789 AD, the first recorded Viking attack within British Isles, including Ireland, occurred on Portland's coast. Although the Vikings' landing place remains uncertain, it is likely that Church Ope Cove was the location. As one of the few landing spots on the east, Wakeham would have been clearly seen spread above the beach. The reeve of Dorchester (a local high-ranking official) went to greet them after they landed, possibly accustomed to welcoming Scandinavian merchants, and was killed. After this Viking attacks increased over the following years, until they assembled an army equipped for conquest circa 865 AD.[6] Later Viking raids may have been at Chesil Cove.[7]

In Saxon times the hamlet stretched further down the cliff above Church Ope Cove. The original community was established in the valley, around a small watercourse, which is now in the grounds of Pennsylvania Castle. The Saxons constructed some defensive works above the Cove, and were also the first to build a church on the island. St Andrew's Church was situated on a sheltered platform above the cove. It was later rebuilt on the same site after Edward the Confessor had bestowed Portland to the Benedictine Monks.[8] Wakeham was also the home to the island's first 25 or so rectors, who would take residence in the 13th century house known as "The Vicars House". Reputed to be "the most elegant building ever constructed on the island", displaying the manor's wealth, it was located opposite where The Mermaid Inn once stood. During the Civil War the building was reduced to ruin, however the house still remained a popular attraction throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1917 the ruins were demolished by quarrying, causing outcry from local residents.[9]

In 1753 a committee of locals was formed to decide whether to put further finances into the dilapidated St. Andrew's Church or to erect a new church at a more accessible position. St. Andrew's suffered from an unstable site, and was prone to landslips (notably those in 1665 and 1734). A new site, situated at the end of Reforne, close to Easton and Weston, was chosen, and the building of St George's Church continued between 1754 and 1766. During the time of St George's construction, with St Andrew's now too dangerous to use, a temporary meeting place was established in 1756, for the local populous, at the lower end of Wakeham. For 10 years the communion table would be carried between St Andrew's and the temporary place of worship for each service.[10]

In 1791, Methodist Robert Brackenbury decided to leave Southampton following the death of his friend and mentor Charles Wesley. He ended up at Portland, and built a chapel for the Methodist following he gained on the island. The following year he rented a cottage at Wakeham for meetings, and it was within this cottage that Tophill's first Sunday School was established.[11] Following his death, Mrs Brackenbury, his wife, continued his work on the island, and one notable moment came when she had the first purpose-built chapel at Tophill built within Wakeham, entirely at her expense. It was opened on 7 August 1825.[12]

Pennsylvania Castle is a Gothic Revival mansion built in 1797-1800 to designs by James Wyatt for John Penn, Governor of Portland and grandson of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. Having discovered Church Ope Cove through a visit to Portland with King George III, Penn lavished his attention on the mansion, continuing to develop his grounds until his death. In effort to expand the size of his mansion's grounds, Penn purchased various cottages situated at the bottom of Wakeham. One local man, Shadrack Stone, refused to move from his targeted cottage, and only agreed to move when Penn offered him one of the finest houses on the island - a Tudor, ex-governor residence known locally as Girt House. An experienced horseman, Penn had a 28 acre course built on a farm at Wakeham in 1827, and this introduced the island to the equestrian sport of horse-racing.[13]

During the late 19th century, Portland saw a massive expansion within its population, directly due to the labour-demanding projects of building Portland's harbour breakwaters and the defensive Verne Citadel. With this large increase in population the local non-conformists saw a revival, assisted by the help of influential leaders, as well as readily available chapel building funds gained from the new money of the government works. Between 1854-60, at least seven new chapels were erected across Portland. The Bible Christians' branch built a chapel at Wakeham, which was known as Zion Chapel.[14]

After the First World War, a small area holding allotments became quarried exclusively opened for stone for the Whitehall Cenotaph and thousands of gravestones for the War Graves Commission. This carefully selected quarry, opposite Portland Museum, was restored soon after and it was agreed to leave the land untouched as a tribute to the dead of both World Wars. However in the late 1990s a small estate of houses was built on the site.[15] A little while before this, around 1904, many quarries around the south-east side of Portland were reopened, despite the dismay of many local residents. With this development some common land was destroyed, including a popular, wooded picnic location to the south of Rufus Castle. In similar methods to the quarries at West Cliff, the new south-east quarries would relieve themselves of stone waste by tipping it over the clifftops between Southwell and Church Ope Cove. A lengthy legal battle ensued, and in 1922 a High Court judge opposed the quarrying firms, and enforced the long-standing access rights to locals. The court did not demand the tipped overburden be removed from the coastline, and having been naturally transported across to the cove, altered the beach of Church Ope Cove. Around Wakeham area stone was sent off for use in the building of Manchester's Midland Bank, Library and Ship Canal Building. In 1920 a quarry in Wakeham region supplied stone for the restoration of Westminster Abbey.[16]

From 1930 a demolition scheme by the local council threatened a considerable number of historical houses on the island. Despite strong local objection, much of the island's historic, Jacobean, Tudor and Georgian cottages would be demolished, rather than being restored. This included various dwellings at Wakeham.[17] With the important naval base, Portland was a natural target for German aircraft during the war, and Wakeham had various cases of raids and bombings. A raid on 15 August 1940 saw a few cottages destroyed at Bumper's Lane. These residences were never rebuilt, and after the war the land, including the gardens and road became part of a stone processing area.[18] Bumpers Lane now leads into Silklake Quarries, where the entrance is marked by a large carving of a head.[19] The village once held the Wakeham Soapbox Derby, which is now discontinued.[20]

Commercial business[edit]

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.[19]

A few small businesses are based in the area, and the Portland Residential Home is found in the village.[21] Accommodation in Wakeham village is a leading business and includes The Alessandria Hotel, the self-contained holiday let Church Ope Studio, found close to Portland Museum,[22] and the bed and breakfast Leam Guest House.[23] The Alessandria Hotel is a family run hotel, with Italian cuisine.[24] Before becoming a hotel, it was once the Alexandra Inn.[25] The Cove Holiday Park is found on the outskirt of Wakeham and is rated five stars by Enjoy England.[26]

The Mermaid Inn, now closed, was once open in the area.[27] The former landlord was sent to prison for threats against his ex-girlfriend and declared himself bankrupt, giving up the pub,[28] while 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.[20][29] In 2010, work was successful in turning the pub into a house.[20]

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.[20]

Grade listed features[edit]

Part of Portland Museum and the entrance leading to Church Ope Cove area

Wakeham has a wide array of architecture and buildings, a number of which are Grade Listed.

Houses[edit]

Tudor Cottage (167 Wakeham) is a wide frontage house, dating from the late 17th century. A date of circa 1680 has been postulated, but an earlier date seems possible. Originally it may have been a two-room cross-passage plan, but later modifications have obscured interpretation. The property was in the gift of St. Andrew's Church, and is one of the most interesting survivals in Wakeham, although major changes seem to have occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries. It became Grade II Listed in September 1978.[30]

203 Wakeham, along with its attached outbuilding became Grade II Listed in January 1951. It dates from the early 19th century, with the outbuilding possibly being a former well or cistern.[31] 209 and 211 Wakeham - a pair of semi-detached houses dating from early 19th century were also Grade II Listed at the same time,[32] and so was 99 Wakeham, a mid 18th century house.[33] 95 Wakeham, an early to mid 19th century house,[34] and the pair of houses 205 and 207 Wakeham became Grade II Listed in January 1951 too. 205 and 207 Wakeham are of late 18th or early 19th century origin, and had replacement windows during the 20th century. In the late 20th century, No. 207 went through some changes, but still remains an important element in the mixed row of houses.[35] 97 Wakeham is an early to mid 18th century house, which became Grade II Listed in January 1951,[36] as did 213 Wakeham, which dates from the early 19th century.[37]

During May 1993, the following houses were Grade II Listed; early 19th century 65 Wakeham,[38] 106 Wakeham (late 17th century house with 19th century fenestration),[39] and Woodbine Cottage (112 Wakeham), which dates from the mid 19th century, but possibly has the remains of an earlier house.[40] 6 Wakeham was also designated Grade II at this time - an early 19th century house.[41]

127 Wakeham, a late 18th or early 19th century house, became Grade II Listed in June 1975. It has been much modified in 20th century but remains part of significant group at the widest part of this broad street.[42] At the same time 137 and 139 Wakeham - a pair of houses dating from early 19th century, with backs extended in 20th century - became Grade II Listed as well.[43] The characteristic modest pair of island cottages 129 and 131 Wakeham, date from the late 18th or early 19th century, and became Grade II Listed in June 1975 too.[44] 116 Wakeham, a late 18th or early 19th century house, became Grade II Listed in August 1976.[45] At the same time 114 Wakeham also became Grade Listed, and dates from the early 19th century.[46] 118 Wakeham was formerly two cottages from the late 18th or early 19th century. The property has lost all its original windows, but it part of a group including Nos. 114 and 116 that were probably built at one time. It was Grade II Listed in August 1976.[47]

215 Wakeham - a late 18th or early 19th century house, and immediately adjacent to Portland Museum, was designated Grade II in September 1978, as was the small house of 79 Wakeham (from the mid 18th century).[48][49] whilst the early 18th century 81 Wakeham became Grade II Listed in September 1987.[50]

A dovecote, approximately 5 metres west-south-west of 106 Wakeham, became designated Grade II in May 1993. The former dovecote still has a blocked gable opening which may have had louvre or dove openings. It later became a privy and now remains a store, but still retaining a grand privy structure. It is possibly of a 17th-century origin, and is an unusual and rare survival, attached to a small house of corresponding interest historically.[51]

Portland Museum[edit]

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.[52] The museum is housed in two former cottages, one titled Avice's Cottage, and both of which became Grade II Listed in January 1951. With both retaining thatched roofs, the cottages act as a reminder of the type of cottage that once appeared all across the island. No. 217 (known as the Marie Stopes Cottage) and Avice's Cottage is of the 17th century but much modified in the early 19th century. One of the museum's cottages, Avice's Cottage, was the inspiration behind the novel The Well-Beloved, written by Thomas Hardy, as the home of three generations of "Avice's" - the novel's heroines. Hardy was a friend of Stopes.[53]

Church Ope Cove[edit]

Although not quite a part of Wakeham, near to Portland Museum, and above Church Ope Cove is Rufus Castle - a ruined castle dating from the late 15th century, on the site of an earlier building (with origins dating from 1142) - making it Portland's oldest castle. It has been Grade I Listed since January 1951.[54] In addition to this, the castle has become a scheduled monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance.[55] St Andrew's Church sits between the castle and the cove. It was Portland's first parish church, dating from the Saxon period, and now lies in ruin. It has been Grade II* Listed since the same time as the castle.[56] Pennsylvania Castle is found just on the edge of Wakeham, near Church Ope Cove. The castle and its attached walls has been Grade II Listed since January 1951.[57] The gatehouse and lodges to the castle were also made Grade II Listed at the same time, although the lodges are now separated in ownership from the castle.[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.dorsetforyou.com/415315
  2. ^ https://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=194680&filetype=pdf
  3. ^ Morris, Stuart (1990). Portland Camera. Dovecote Press. pp. Photo 67. ISBN 978-0946159796. 
  4. ^ Legg, Rodney (1999). Portland Encyclopaedia. Dorset Publishing Company. p. 150. ISBN 978-0948699566. 
  5. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  6. ^ "History : British History Timeline". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  7. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  8. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  9. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  10. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  11. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 42, 43. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  12. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  13. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  14. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  15. ^ http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/695710/
  16. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  17. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  18. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  19. ^ a b "Silklake Quarry, Portland, Dorset". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Pennsylvania Castle and Church Ope, Portland". Geoffkirby.co.uk. 2003-04-03. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  21. ^ "Portland Residential Home - Portland". Bettercaring. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  22. ^ "Self Catering Accommodation : Portland Dorset". Church Ope Studio. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  23. ^ "Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Portland, Dorset". Leam House. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  24. ^ "Alessandria Hotel in Portland, Dorset". Alessandriahotel.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  25. ^ http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/695715/
  26. ^ Beechwood Associates. "Dorset Holiday Parks | Holiday Park Dorset | Cove Holiday Park Dorset". Coveholidaypark.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  27. ^ "Mermaid Inn, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1HS - pub details#". Beerintheevening.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  28. ^ "Former Portland pub landlord jailed (From Dorset Echo)". Dorsetecho.co.uk. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  29. ^ http://www.thisisweymouth.com/mostpopular.var.2021978.mostviewed.pub_boss_grabbed_food_health_officer.php
  30. ^ "1206397 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1978-09-21. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  31. ^ "1203129 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  32. ^ "1203130 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  33. ^ "1206345 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  34. ^ "1206310 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  35. ^ "1206413 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  36. ^ "1281837 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  37. ^ "1280237 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  38. ^ "1203123 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1993-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  39. ^ "1203125 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1993-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  40. ^ "1203126 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1993-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  41. ^ "1280298 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1993-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  42. ^ "1203127 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1975-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  43. ^ "1203128 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1975-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  44. ^ "1206388 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1975-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  45. ^ "1206363 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  46. ^ "1280249 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  47. ^ "1280259 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  48. ^ "1206303 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  49. ^ "1203131 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1978-09-21. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  50. ^ "1203124 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  51. ^ "1206351 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1993-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  52. ^ "Portland Museum". Portland Museum. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  53. ^ "1206423 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  54. ^ "1280727 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  55. ^ "1002698 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  56. ^ "1205384 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1951-01-16. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  57. ^ "1203103 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1951-01-16. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  58. ^ "1203078 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26.