Weston, Dorset

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 50°32′23″N 2°26′50″W / 50.53971°N 2.44729°W / 50.53971; -2.44729

Weston
Weston is located in Dorset
Weston
Weston
 Weston shown within Dorset
OS grid reference SY690721
District Weymouth and Portland
Shire county Dorset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PORTLAND
Postcode district DT5 1
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

Weston is a village in Tophill on the Isle of Portland), Dorset, England. It abuts the main village Easton, and is north of the village of Southwell. As with the rest of Portland's villages and settlements, Southwell has been 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.[1][2]

To the east of the village, and near Easton, are the two Portland Windmills. The disused and historic stone towers date from as early as 1608 when they were first recorded in the Land Revenue Accounts. Both windmills have been separate Grade II Listed monuments since September 1978, and are the only historic windmill remains to survive in Dorset.[3][4] To the north is Reforne, Easton, which holds St George's Church and St George's Centre - the former which can be seen from Weston.

History[edit]

Like most of Portland's villages and settlements, Weston was established around a small watercourse. The first Weston dwellings were centred around a tiny stream from Merry Well, which flowed through Coombe Field. It is most likely the Romans who discovered the natural springs across the island, and turned them into ponds and wells, including those at Weston, although some sources say the Saxons were the likely first dwellers of Weston. Natural ponds at Weston, like in the other Portland villages, were walled and maintained by the community since these times. Many cottages had their own well or cistern, and public wells would be dug deep into the bedrock to obtain a yearly supply of pure water.[5]

Until the early 20th century, Weston's main pond was the duck pond at Weston Corner, by the road leading to the village of Southwell. For hundreds of years, this pond was the scene of women washing, horses drinking and children playing. In 1906 it was filled in after Portland's piped water supply was laid down, but had become neglected since the 1870s.[6] The site of the pond is now a wide grass verge. Nearby until the 1970s stood The Prince Alfred Pub, now a row of modern houses.[7] The pub last served on the 28 March 1973.[8]

Portland's infamous smuggling history had roles played all over the island. The dealing and distribution of the contraband goods would be arranged in quiet public houses across the island, such as the Lugger Inn, once at Gypsy Lane in Weston. This inn was also the first to have glass pane windows on the island. The pub no longer exists.[9]

With the demanding projects of building Portland's harbour breakwaters and the Verne Citadel, which led to a large influx of outsiders coming to Portland, Weston village remained at largely the same population, and grew little since 1782 when it had only 15 houses. Between 1854-60, seven new chapels were erected across the island, and the quiet Weston village saw 2 of these erected. However the two Methodist groupings were not able to share the same chapel, so after the Wesleyan chapel was opened in Weston Road in 1858, within two years the Primitives erected their own on the opposite side of the village at Weston Street.[10] By the time Portland's population had greatly expanded due to the demanding projects of building Portland's harbour breakwaters and the Verne Citadel, the island's water supply via the natural springs was inadequate. With the exception of Southwell and Weston, no Portland village had a good supply of water until the beginning of the 20th century.

After the establishment of the Portland Branch Railway, a line operated from the late nineteenth century, the Easton and Church Hope Railway Company, obtained an Act of Parliament in 1884 to extend the line from Chesil to Easton. There was a possibility of a branch to run to Weston as well, but this never materialised after the Easton branch had been completed. It opened at the start of the 20th century.[11] Through the first half of the 20th century, cattle being herded through Weston to nearby milking parlours and fields, was a common sight, however much of the pasture was being taken for quarrying or government departments. Portland struggled without mains electricity until 1930. Since the turn of the century the Council had resisted all competition to its gas works, hoping that one day it would pay its way. The resistance could be held no longer, and an agreement was made to lay on an electric supply generated at Weymouth. In the £25,000 scheme Underhill and Easton were first to be switched on, on 1 July 1930, and two years later the cables were extended to Weston and Southwell, then the Grove.

A large part of Weston is the Weston Estate which contains much housing and surrounding fields. The original historic village of Weston, characterised by old cottages fronting very wide greens, was expanded by these large housing estates in the 1960s onwards. The Westcliff Housing Estate was originally built for the Admiralty, but is now largely private. Weston is still set amongst expansive fields to the east and south.[12] Haylands, situated between Weston and Easton, was last harvested for corn in 1968, and then the soil was stripped for a housing estate of 400 properties. Through the 1970s, Weston village continued to expand rapidly, with the Weston Estate expanding almost out of the cliffs of Blacknor.[13]

Area[edit]

Part of Weston Road

The village features a small commercial business area based along the main Weston Road. This road features the sweet store Just Sweets, previously known as Cards 'n' Candy,[14] a Co-Operative store,[15] the Codfathers takeaway,[16] The Royal Exchange pub[17] and L'n'O's Bistro.[18]

On the east side of Weston Road near the former Royal Manor Arts College (now a campus of the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy) is an ancient Sheep Pound where the Court Leet used to impound straying sheep and cattle. The pound was moved to its present position when the nearby housing estate was built.[19]

Along the high West Cliff on the seaward side of Weston Estate, Blacknor Fort was built as a heavy gun emplacement. The fort was originally built around 1902 and the stronghold was equipped during both World Wars. During the second World War on the night of 27 April 1944, the gunners of the fort witnessed Nazi E-boats which attacked landing craft full of American soldiers on exercise in Lyme Bay. The fort was ordered not to fire for fear of hitting the men in the water. The Slapton Sands Massacre, as it became known, saw more than 600 American soldiers and seamen drowned by the end of the night.[20] The fort is now converted into a private clifftop residence.[21] Further south, on the edge of the estate once stood ROC Post Portland Bill, which was operational from 1960 to 1991, and was demolished circa 2008.[22] The high cliffs around this area are popular with rock climbers.[23]

To the far south of Weston village was a World War II pillbox, on a public footpath known as Barleycrates Lane. It was possibly hexagonal in plan, built of concrete and was constructed sometime between 1940-41. However no traces of the structure remain today.[24]

Roman Villa[edit]

On the west side of Weston Road, opposite the Royal Manor School, is one of the few archaeological sites on the Isle of Portland. Remains of what is likely to be a Roman villa and high quality medieval building remains have been discovered. Around 2004 excavations for a new school sports pitch revealed the remains of the large multi-period complex. The sports area was relocated to enable a major archaeological dig to be undertaken. [19] The ruins dating from the Iron Age, Roman and Medieval periods were unearthed during the topsoil clearance. As a result, the council commissioned an in-depth examination of the area to discover more about the finds. Since then the site has been excavated and various discoveries have been reported.[25]

Within the same field there was once a Second World War pillbox. It was possibly hexagonal in plan, built of concrete and was constructed sometime between 1940-41. Today there are no traces of the structure.[26] In the same area was also a World War II air raid shelter.[27] Three others, all no longer in existence, were found where the school now stands.[28][29][30]

Grade listed features[edit]

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

High Croft Cottage (51 Providence Place) is a small detached house, dating from the 17th century but much altered in both the 19th and 20th centuries. It has been Grade II Listed since January 1951.[31] 53 Providence Place dates from 1850 and is one of the few dwellings in Weston not substantially modified externally. It has been Grade II Listed since May 1993.[32]

On Weston Road, Wanganui Cottage (71 Weston Road) has late 17th century or early 18th century origins, however was much modified in the 19th and 20th centuries. The dwelling probably formed part of a larger late 16th century house, now in several units, best represented by No. 72 adjoining. It became Grade II Listed in September 1978.[33] 82-84 Weston Road, along with its attached wall, became Grade II Listed at the same time. It has late 16th century/early 17th century origins, and was also much modified in the 19th and 20th centuries. The house was formerly two properties.[34] 64 Weston Road and its attached wall, date from the late 17th or early 18th centuries. The house is modest, but an important survival of a small house in a historic row which has undergone substantial changes in the 20th century. It became Grade II Listed in September 1978.[35] 72 Weston Road was designated Grade II in January 1953. The house, part of a row, was probably once the main wing of an original great house. It dates from the late 16th or early 17th century. When Nos. 68, 70, 80 and 82 were demolished, No. 72 formed a larger free-standing house when first built, but has now become a series of small units, probably in the 19th century. By the end of the 20th century it remained in poor condition, and in 1991 the property was fully restored with care, employing surviving historical features where possible.[36]

The row of houses consisting of 44, 44A, 46, and 48 Weston Street all make up what was once a farmhouse, dating from the early 19th century. The houses all became Grade II Listed in May 1993. The row remains a well retained ensemble, which until the late 20th century remained a farm, with row of arcaded farm outbuildings to its left end. These were also converted.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.dorsetforyou.com/415315
  2. ^ https://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=194680&filetype=pdf
  3. ^ "1203067 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  4. ^ "1281885 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  5. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  6. ^ Morris, Stuart (1990). Portland Camera. Dovecote Press. pp. Photo 74. ISBN 978-0946159796. 
  7. ^ "Portland Street Scenes". Isleofportlandpictures.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  8. ^ Free Portland News. March 2013. 
  9. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  10. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  11. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  12. ^ "Weston Estate, Portland". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  13. ^ Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0946159345. 
  14. ^ United Kingdom. "Cards 'N' Candy - Confectioners Portland Dorset". Mylocalservices.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  15. ^ "Co-Operative Group Ltd - Convenience Stores in Isle Of Portland DT5 2BY". 192.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  16. ^ "Codfathers Portland". Harbourguides.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  17. ^ "The Royal Exchange, Portland, Dorset, DT5 2BZ - pub details #". Beerintheevening.com. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  18. ^ "L'n'O's Bistro, Weston Road, Isle of Portland". Lnosbistro.eclipse.co.uk. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  19. ^ a b "Royal Manor School, Portland, Dorset". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  20. ^ "Quick facts about the Jurassic Coast". Jurassiccoastline.com. 1944-04-27. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  21. ^ "Blacknor, Portland, Dorset". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  22. ^ "Portland Bill Dorset". Subbrit.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  23. ^ "Databases | Portland". Rockfax. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  24. ^ http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1420381&sort=2&type=&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=93347&district=93625&parish=93626&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=&rnumber=&p=17&move=n&nor=294&recfc=0
  25. ^ The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. "More prehistoric discoveries on Portland : The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map:". Megalithic.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  26. ^ http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1420379&sort=2&type=&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=93347&district=93625&parish=93626&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=&rnumber=&p=17&move=n&nor=294&recfc=0
  27. ^ http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1413191&sort=2&type=&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=93347&district=93625&parish=93626&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=&rnumber=&p=2&move=n&nor=294&recfc=0
  28. ^ http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1413192&sort=2&type=&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=93347&district=93625&parish=93626&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=&rnumber=&p=2&move=n&nor=294&recfc=0
  29. ^ http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1413193&sort=2&type=&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=93347&district=93625&parish=93626&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=&rnumber=&p=2&move=n&nor=294&recfc=0
  30. ^ http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1413194&sort=2&type=&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=93347&district=93625&parish=93626&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=&rnumber=&p=2&move=n&nor=294&recfc=0
  31. ^ "1203107 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  32. ^ "1203108 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1993-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  33. ^ "1203133 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1978-09-21. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  34. ^ "1203134 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  35. ^ "1206477 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1978-09-21. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  36. ^ "1206490 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1953-01-16. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  37. ^ "1206525 - The National Heritage List for England | English Heritage". List.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-26.