Tout Quarry

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Part of Tout Quarry's landscape

Tout Quarry, now known as Tout Quarry Sculpture Park and Nature Reserve, is a sculpture park and nature reserve based within a disused quarry on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. It is located within the north-west corner of Tophill. The sculpture park has existed since 1983, while the site also become a nature reserve around 2004. To date, the quarry displays a collection of various carvings and works in Portland stone.[1][2]


Tout Quarry was worked commercially during the 18th and 19th-centuries. The quarry was last worked in 1982 for a boulder contract when 30,000 tons were excavated for sea defenses. Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust began the sculpture park in 1983, saving the quarry from further mineral extraction with the creation of sculptures, and the park officially opened in that year. Many of the original site specific sculptures can still be discovered today, although some didn't last much longer than a year.[1][3]

In places around the quarry, there are numerous ravines leading to the cliff edge. Tramway lines once ran throughout the quarry, taking stone waste to the cliff edge to be tipped or taking block stone to Priory Corner where it was transported along the Merchant's Railway to Castletown, from where it as shipped across the world.[1] The Grade II Listed Lano's Bridge was built in the mid-1800s to carry a high level tramway taking stone waste to the cliff edge.[1][4]

Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust[edit]

The Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust was formed in 1983 when the quarry was turned into a park.[5] The trust is dedicated to "preserving a knowledge and understanding of all aspects of stone and the landscape from which it comes". It operates within the quarry and at its headquarters at the nearby Drill Hall. An outdoor workshop is located within the quarry and is used to run courses from May to September each year.[6] The yearly programme of stone carving and sculpture courses teaches skills in stone carving direct carving, lettercutting, relief carving and architectural detail. The indoor workspace at the Drill Hall is also used for this purpose.

In 2008, the Trust was the runner-up in the British Urban Regeneration Association's awards for community-inspired regeneration.[7] In 2009, the Trust was shortlisted for the British Urban Regeneration Awards Scheme.[8]


There is estimated to be over 70 different sculptures within the quarry.[9] These include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Tout Quarry and Sculpture Park, Portland, Dorset". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Tout Quarry Map | General". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust - History | General". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1281839)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Tout Quarry Portland Sculpture Trust & Stone Carving on Portland". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Set in stone | Placemaking Resource". 27 July 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. ^ Swinney, Hilda (29 January 2009). "Portland quarry trust up for award (From Dorset Echo)". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  9. ^

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 50°33′11″N 2°26′41″W / 50.5531°N 2.4446°W / 50.5531; -2.4446