Tout Quarry

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Part of Tout Quarry's landscape

Tout Quarry (a.k.a. Tout Quarry Sculpture Park) is a disused quarry, located on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarry stands at the north-west corner of Tophill. A Sculpture Park and Nature Reserve since 1983, the quarry displays a collection of various carvings and works in Portland Stone.[1][2]


Tout Quarry worked commercially from c.1750-1982 as one of eighty working quarries on Portland. The 260-year-old quarry workings were last worked in 1982 for a boulder contract when 30,000 tons were excavated from the quarrymen's banking 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. The Tramway lines once ran through the quarry, taking stone waste to be dumped over the cliff or taking block stone to Priory Corner where it awaited transport by the local railway for the ships at Castletown.[1] Lano's Bridge was built in the mid-1800s to carry a high level tramway taking stone waste to the cliff edge.[1] The bridge is Grade II Listed.[4]

With further work to link up Portland's disused public quarries as part of the Portland Quarry Trail project, in 2010 it was decided to unblock an old tramway tunnel to provide a pedestrian walkway under the main road from Tout Quarry to Inmosthay Quarry. In addition, the route of the Merchants' Railway behind Tillycombe had been opened up as well as the tramway route into King Barrow Quarries.[5]

Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust[edit]

The Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust was formed in 1983 when the quarry was turned into a park.[6] 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, where a working workshop is located within the quarry.[7] The outdoor workshop runs from May to September each year for artists all levels of skill. The workshop's yearly programme of stone carving and sculpture courses teaches skills in stone carving direct carving, lettercutting, relief carving and architectural detail. The Drill Hall indoor stone workspace nearby 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.[8] In 2009, the Trust was shortlisted for the British Urban Regeneration Awards Scheme.[9]

In 2012, the Stone Island Programme was created, based within the workshop.[10]


There is estimated to be over 70 different sculptures within the quarry.[11] These include:

  • Dreaming Head and Estuary (by Keir Smith)
  • Flow Through the Rocks (by Han Sal Por)
  • Representation of a Baroque garden (by Shelagh Wakely)
  • Wreck (by Rosie Leventon)
  • Philosopher's Stone (by Robert Harding)
  • 16 Candles (by David Tuckwell)
  • Crouching Figure (by Reiko Nireki)
  • Flowing Rocks (by Harry Klar)
  • Dry Stone Landscape (by Nick Lloyd)
  • The Arena of Fulls (by Kerry Trengove)
  • Pterichthys (by Richard Farrington)
  • Shrine (by Hiroshi Makimara)
  • A Tear for Stone (by anonymous)
  • Seat and Boat (by Mike Hick)
  • Yogi Seeker (by S. Chandrasekeran)
  • Wessex (by Andrews Kirkby)
  • Chair (by Simon Foster-Ogg)
  • Serpent Steps and Alignment (by Christine Fox)
  • Among the Stars that Hide and Seek (by Alain Ayres)
  • Sentimental Arch (by Barbara Ash)
  • Cornucopia (by Clare Stratton)
  • Mirrored Sun (by Chris O'Neil & students from Wimbledon School of Art)
  • A Homage to Lichen (by Patrick Howett)
  • Sunstone (by Phil Nicol)
  • Flying the Kite (by Mary Kenny)
  • Window (by Justin Nicol)
  • Iguana (by John Roberts)
  • Chesil (by Chris O'Neil)
  • Stone Whirlpool (by Amanda Glover)
  • Stitch in Time (by Graham Westfield)
  • Vessel (by Gerard Wilson)
  • Fallen Fossil (by Stephen Marsden)
  • Orobous (by Jan Nunn)
  • Ascent (by Joe Hamilton)
  • Stone of the Summer Solstice (by Roger Davies)
  • Plant Form (by Sylvia Stuart)
  • Waterfall (by Hamish Horsley)
  • Calendar Stone (by Barry Mason)
  • History Lesson (by Angelo Bordonan)
  • Zen Garden (by Phillip King & students from the Royal College of Art)
  • From the Ruins (by Lorna Green)
  • Water Bowl (by Valerie Josephs)
  • Woman on Rock (by Dhruva Mistry)
  • Be Stone No More (by Pierre Vivant)
  • Still Falling (by Antony Gormley)
  • Ribbed Form (by David Kelly)
  • Leaning Torso (by Hennie Hansel)
  • Hearth (by Timothy Shutter)
  • Drinking Bowl (by Jonathan Sells)
  • Horizontal Figure (by anonymous)
  • The Green Man (by Valentine Quinn)
  • Searchlights (by Michael Farrell)
  • The Beauty of Surveillance (by James Harries)
  • Cirkel van Stenen (Stone Circle) (a collection of sculptures by Groupe 85 from the Netherlands)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]


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