Talk:Isle of Portland

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Featured articleIsle of Portland is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 17, 2009.
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September 29, 2007Featured article candidatePromoted
Current status: Featured article
WikiProject UK geography (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
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WikiProject Dorset (Rated FA-class, High-importance)
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Older entries[edit]

Do people think this page is over-linked, with terms in such common usage as mile, glacier, pebble, island and limestone chosen.

I don't think adding links to every noun referenced in a subject aids readability.

Those terms are not such common usage that they shouldn't be linked, and are very relevant to the article, e.g. "Limestone" and "Glacier" are specialist terms (read the pages). --Steinsky 07:10, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

How would you defend 'island', 'pebble', 'castle', 'quarry' and 'harbour'? Are they also specalist terms? John

Yes. The wikipedia pages for those topics are encyclopedia pages, not dictionary pages, i.e. there is a lot to say about them. Just because you feel you're adequately familiar with those topics, doesn't mean everybody else using wikipedia for research will instantly get the point without looking it up. Why are we having this conversation? This is long established wikipedia policy, and the significance of most of the words you delinked is obvious. --Steinsky 18:18, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Could you point me to a document describing this policy, as I had a good look round the Etiquette pages without finding any guidelines? Jrbray

It IS possible to have too many links. It looks silly and editors DO discuss this from time to time. I do think that some of these terms may have been overlinked. I dispute that there is a long-established wiki policy which means that, for example any and every noun could or should have link just becuase there is a page for it. IceDragon64 (talk) 00:27, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
See WP:OVERLINK. Yes, this article is very heavily linked. There are quite a few links that seem a bit patronising – not many people will be reading this article and then say "Oh, what's this 'Cold War' thing?", or "so what exactly is a 'semi-detached house'". Most are at least a bit relevant, and I couldn't find many that were wholly redundant – however, the article would not be harmed with perhaps a third less linking. Richard New Forest (talk) 08:29, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Island versus peninsula[edit]

Forgive me if this has been raised before (couldn't see anything in the history) but... isn't Portland a peninsula rather than an island?

The term 'Isle of Portand' can stay I think as it is historic practice, but in my opinion many of the references to 'island' in the article should read 'peninsula'.

Before I plunge in and edit - am I missing some geographical subtlety?

Neither term describes Portland perfectly, but island is a better description than penunsula. A peninsula is an extension of the mainland into the sea, and tends to be formed when the sea erodes less resistant rock either side of a band of more resistant rock running perpendicular to the shore. Portland is a lump of limestone that has been completely severed from the clays and chalk of the mainland, but has become rejoined by the deposition of a beach. So Portland doesn't perfectly fit the common description of an island, or the technical description (or common description?) of a peninsula. I always describe it as an island, because my high school geography teachers did. We could always add a geology/physical geography section that goes into these details in depth... Joe D (t) 02:28, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the quick and learned response! I think a section more or less saying what you've said above would be the way to go. (Contrary to your experience, my teachers would describe it as a peninsula - but of course they may have said something different on the days when I couldn't get to school at all because the sea had come over the Chesil Bank!)

Another response :- Some people also describe Portland as a tombolo (like my old High School Geography teachers from a good few years ago!), however this is also incorrect, as Chesil Beach is the tombolo, not Portland. A tombolo is defined as a sand or shingle bar which connects an island to the mainland, so hence that is what Chesil Beach is, not Portland.

Somewhat confusingly, the feature is still more unusual than that, however, as Chesil Beach is not a true tombolo (which formed by wave refraction) but is more likely to be a barrier beach or a bar, formed by sea level rise, which just happened to join onto Portland at one end.

There is also some evidence to show that the land to the immediate east of Chesil Beach, upon which Portland Beach road is built, may have been formed by a second tombolo, making Portland still even more unusual. This information can be found on http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/portharb.htm, along with any other information to clarify this quite complex and interesting subject.

It is always annoying when tourist guides write about Portland, and use phrases like ...'almost an island'... or ...'explore the 'island' of Portland'... The writers should get their facts straight, as they are supposed to know about the local area, unlike the majority of the locals, who don't need to know about it. 86.133.48.130 20:44, 13 June 2006 (UTC))

I can't believe this is correct. An island is land completely surrounded by water. A "tied island" is not a kind of island, it is a kind of peninsula, in the same way that a "sunken island" is not a kind of island, but a part of the seabed. Structurally a tied island may have been "assembled" from an island and a connecting spit, but however you look at it, it does not have water all the way round. The current claim can easily be shown to be wrong by a simple thought experiment: what if the shingle extended a bit further, and surrounded the original island on all sides? On the current definition such an arrangement would still be an island, even though it did not touch water anywhere.
The reference given in the article does clearly show that Portland is a tied island. However, it does not show that a tied island is not a kind of peninsula. To justify that claim we need either:
  • A reliable definition of "island" which includes tied islands, or
  • A reliable definition of "peninsula" which excludes them.--Richard New Forest (talk) 18:56, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Finding such a reference is very hard. I have searched for ages for reliable studies of Portland, which would define exactly what it is. The best guide I can find is that of http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/chesil.htm , but that doesn't clarify the issue, merely showing how complex it is.

The hard bit is that Portland and Chesil beach are both really unique cases. Chesil beach is a unique tombolo - it wasn't formed due to refraction like other island-beach systems, the current system is very complicated in the area, nobody knows for sure from what or by what process the beach was formed It is a fossil beach - no new material is supplied to it. Nobody even knows what is under the shingle (storms reveal clay and peat and all sorts). It is parallel to the coast for most of its length, instead of perpendicular like other tombolos. There is no 'land' between Portland and Weymouth, only the shingle of Chesil. On the eastern side of the beach (where there is now a road and bridge), another beach has been deposited in the calm waters, but that does not extend all the way to the mainland - if Chesil was not there, then Portland would not have any link to the mainland, with only the concrete road bridge. I don't think that Chesil can be easily classified into any single landform.

The question is then, what to call Portland? If I or you could find some geographical definition, then that would be amazing, but I doubt it. I think the best thing to do is carefully work out what is best to say. This is what we have now: "This feature is often incorrectly defined as a peninsula or a tombolo — Portland is a 'tied' island, and Chesil Beach is its tombolo." Clarifying that Portland is not a tombolo is correct I feel, as it is not - Chesil beach is. I reckon then that 'tied' island should be changed to 'tied island'. Do you reckon that we should state whether 'tied islands' are islands or peninsulas? I would err not to, as without a reference stating which group 'tied islands' are in, we cannot claim either. I think the intro should be changed to explicitly state 'tied island' not just island as it is now. Your thoughts? RossEnglish 21:49, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there's any difficulty in calling it a peninsula – we have oodles of definitions of island and of peninsula, and it is perfectly clear which of these it fits. It is only if (as at present) we try to violate these well-known definitions that we need to justify that with a further ref. Unless or until we can find such a ref, I think we should say something like: "Portland is a tied island, an island joined to the mainland by a shingle bar to form a peninsula. Chesil Beach is the shingle bar, considered to be either a tombolo or a long-shore drift bar". Where we need to mention it elsewhere we should call Portland a peninsula or a tied island according to context.
I suspect that the whole thing about it "not being a peninsula" arises from someone grabbing the "tied island" term and wrongly assuming that a tied island must be a kind of island. --Richard New Forest (talk) 08:50, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
I would agree with that sort of thing - I shall go through the article and change references to 'island' to either Portland, tied island or whatever is appropriate. I do think that this sentence is inaccurate though: "Chesil Beach is the shingle bar, considered to be either a tombolo or a long-shore drift bar" - a tombolo is just a spit that meets land at both ends, and can be caused by longshore drift, wave refraction or whatever. (I don't think that we could put longshore drift as no one knows how Chesil was formed, it could be longshore drift or something else.)
So this is what I think should be written:
"Portland is unusual as it is connected to the mainland at Abbotsbury by Chesil Beach, a tombolo which runs 29 kilometres (18 mi) north-west to West Bay. Portland is a 'tied island', and Chesil Beach is its tombolo, but is unusual as it was not formed due to wave refraction around Portland."

Portland is definitely an island, ask any of the inhabitants and read any historic reference. English usage is just that. If you join an island to the mainland by causeway,as in many Orkney and other islands, it remains an island. The Chesil bank may simply be regarded as a tempory and almost impassible long causeway of shingle left over from the last ice age, and allegedly eroding away, unlike the durable body of the island. The Chesil bank is not practical for access and access is by bridge, and was originally by ferry. I think tied island is a neat compromise between pedants and normal usage. JDN —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.155.120.226 (talk) 21:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

RossEnglish 14:55, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
That all looks good to me, and those edits look fine. I've added one more, which I think is consistent. --Richard New Forest (talk) 21:07, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Great! Much more satisfactory. Glad that was sorted - cheers for bringing it up =) RossEnglish 08:45, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Don't like the first sentence of the Featured Article. I have never heard of Tied Island before and I am confident that the phrase 'limestone tied island' is not good without at least a link to a little stub for Tied island. Personally I think it is a kind of peninsula and I don't think that the fact that it was an island alters that, despite its name.

IceDragon64 (talk) 00:38, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Portland village stubs[edit]

The articles about the eight villages on Portland are all stubs - wouldn't it be better if they were combined into one article about all eight villages? This article would still be separate from the main article called "Isle of Portland".

I don't see much point in doing so. Nowhere else in the UK groups villages together, there is no precedent for doing so or how such a page would be formated. And why group them as Portland? Why not a group for all of them in the borough or the county? It's a rather arbitrary choice of geographical unit. I think the only thing this would achieve is discouraging people from expanding the articles properly. Joe D (t) 11:59, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Improvements[edit]

After spending alot of time improving the quality of the Weymouth article, I think that I shall now try and get Isle of Portland to the same standard over the next few months. I know Steinsky would like this article to become FA quality, so hopefully it will =). I would appreciate help in adding to the article, citing references, changing sentences around, improving tone, NPOV, and copyediting from all intersted users. Rossenglish 12:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I have made a series of edits to the article recently, to try and include all topics mentioned in the WikiProject box at the top of the page. I have also reworded and altered the text in many minor ways to conform to WP:MOS. If anyone can spot any places in the article which need improving/standardising, please do! Some paragraphs have also been moved around the article. According to Wikipedia policy on WP:TRIVIA, I also moved the Trivia section's content to the history section, and altered the text to fit. Rossenglish 17:30, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Portland as climbing destination[edit]

Hi,

I could not find any reference to climbing in this article. Not only this island has hundreds of climbing routes, but it is important place in history of British climbing. Additionally it is a weekend destination of climbers from all over UK and London on a regular basis. Whereas the article mentions water sports, I would consider climbing as main sport cultivated on the island. Thanks 87.224.20.114 09:32, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Governance[edit]

There is a mistake in the section "Governance": Weymouth and Portland is NOT a metropolitan borough.

Portland Harbour[edit]

Is the Portland Harbour the 2nd largest harbour in the world or the 2nd man-made harbour in the world? In the article about Dorset, it says that the 2nd natural harbour in the world is possibly Poole Harbour. And another question: which is bigger—Portland Harbour or Poole Harbour? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.82.62.29 (talk) 17:18, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Portland harbour and the Fleet lagoon.
Definitely not the second largest harbour. Although it and the Fleet lagoon are a natural harbour, they have been artificially extended with breakwaters. Compared to other large natural harbours (Sydney, Poole, Rio, etc) Portland harbour is smaller. But it is very big for a man-made harbour, as the breakwaters are 3–4 km long, and if you include the Fleet lagoon, even larger.
Poole harbour is possibly the 2nd largest natural harbour in the world, and is probably 1.5 to 2 times the size of Portland harbour. I'm not sure Portland's is the 2nd largest man-made harbour though, so I've changed that to 'one of the largest'. Rossenglish (talk) 19:27, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I would say Isefjord and its appendix Roskilde fjord (one shared exit, towards the north) easilly are larger than both Poole or Weymouth, and 100% natural. It was here the Danish hide their main navy during the Brittish attack on Copenhagen in 1801 and 1807. Please concider the world also outside the British isles, when usng "the world". Boeing720 (talk) 09:25, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Move request at Talk:Portland[edit]

There is currently a move request at Talk:Portland aiming to move the Portland dab page, currently at Portland, to Portland (disambiguation), and then redirecting "Portland" to Portland, Oregon. Interested editors can take part in the discussion here. Cheers, Raime 02:24, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


Tombolo[edit]

According the Chesil Beach article it is not a tombolo, but something else. Please resolve- the issue is already referred to in the Discussion under Island vs Peninsula- shouldn't it have been resolved before making it a Featured Article? Personally, I think that it was a spit or something until it connected with land on both ends, then it became a Tombolo by definition, which means the Chesil Beach article needs to be edited, but I am a geologist, not a geographer so I will go to bed instead!

IceDragon64 (talk) 01:29, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Dimensions[edit]

Why are the default dimensions of the island in metric, when British standard for length is (still) imperial? --Dweller (talk) 01:54, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Because the SI units are the official units of measure in the UK and the rest of the EU. Markb (talk) 13:57, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Although it is true that certain imperial measures are still officially used and recognised- for example it is required that signs for distance are written in imperial in the UK, otherwise the kilometre is also perfectly well recognised here and indeed is the dominant measure of distance in schools. There would be nothing wrong with writing the measures in imperial in the first place, but it would no longer be appropriate to change kilometres to miles in an article for the UK. IceDragon64 (talk) 18:47, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Any reason why this link should not be added?[edit]

Seems one editor thinks it should be removed, no explanation though, some hypocrisy involved considering they say no advertising, not a promotion thing, while having others links with sites that have advertising... the fact a few of those site owners are not even Portland people is a joke, I live here.

http://portland-bill.com is what site I added, what is wrong with it?

Why is it NOT relevant to what people look for?

I am happy to write and contribute, I had intended to contribute where I can but if it's so one sided there is no way I am writing paragraphs of content for it to be wiped off.

So, way to go towards putting off a brand new user. Shame. Any reason why the site is not suitable, if there is a rule broken, what is it? Robsellen (talk) 15:07, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Rob – it was not me who removed the link, but I can see why it wasn't thought suitable – it's a blog. Have a look at WP:ELNO, which explains why certain external links such as blogs are not acceptable – this one fails on para 1 and 11 at least. Also worth reading WP:ELYES (actually another part of the same page), which explains which sorts of links are suitable. I'm sure no-one was trying to discourage you – although it would certainly have been more helpful to have explained why the link was removed. Regards, Richard New Forest (talk) 17:26, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
An explanation in the form of level 1 template with the relevant links to Wikipedia's external link guidlines was left on Robsellen's talk page [1] by another editor when the link was initially removed. I agree with Richard and although added in good faith I don't think the external link is suitable either. Barret (talk) 18:06, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
ADDED... Blog, website? they are the same, ITS content that matters, not how it was created ...it's all html and css, like every other damn site, it's just a platform, most websites you see are built with blogging tools... so what? like cnn... would you say that was a blog? nope, but's built on a blog platform.
How lame, surely it's the CONTENT your readers want and if relevant and likeable what's the problem?
Ok, I am done, I will delete my account, why bother trying to help a site who throws it back in your face? Beyond me.
Way to go... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Robsellen (talkcontribs) 18:33, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Current MP[edit]

I notice that Jim Knight is still listed as the current MP. Whilst I wish this were true, it's not the case anymore, and whilst I have been able to change this on a couple of other pages, there are a huge amount of references to the 2005 election wich I might get in trouble for deleting. Could someone else change it? VanillaBear23 (talk) 11:01, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

I've updated this and added a new reference. I don't see why you would get into trouble for doing this -- if you filled in the edit summary I doubt there would be any misunderstanding. Barret (talk) 13:26, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Photos[edit]

There aren't any photos of the Isle itself in the text that give an idea of what it looks like 'side on'. I took these yesterday from Ringstead Bay - don't know if they are of any use in the text.

Jasper33 (talk) 09:02, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

To be honest, I think the aerial pic is better - as a distant view shows little detail and only shows the north and north-eastern section of the island. With best regards, David. David J Johnson (talk) 10:00, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I meant to complement the aerial picture, not to replace it. The aerial picture doesn't give any idea of the topography of the island, and there are five images that present a plan or map-like view of the island, and only the photo of the cliffs and perhaps the one of the quarry suggest the topography. The first photo above shows the topography, almost a 'section' view of it. I'm not particularly bothered about my photo in particular going in - I am sure there are much better ones - but I think it conveys information about the terrain that you don't get from the map/plan views. Jasper33 (talk) 16:06, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

But, how did it get its name?? No mention of that in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 182.173.212.21 (talk) 12:08, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Length of gabion[edit]

I can't find any reference to the length of the gabion to the north of Chiswell in the given reference "Chiswell case study: The Scheme". The quoted length (1.6km) seems much to long. I have added an Environment Agency reference which gives the length as 550m and adjusted the text accordingly. Wellset (talk) 13:09, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Weather box[edit]

User:Martinevans123 User:PaleCloudedWhite I do not think that a peninsula should have a weather box referenced to a weather station outside the area concerned, rather weather boxes should only be used if the weather station is inside the area covered by the article. Hence countries and regions could justifiably have one, but not villages nor many towns. The one in this article should be removed, perhaps leaving a link to a page which justifiably includes one. SovalValtos (talk) 12:40, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

The ref in the article doesn't appear to link directly to a station relating to Portland, though I was under the impression that Portland does have a weather station, though it may be shared with Weymouth ('Weymouth and Portland'). Some searching is required I think. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 08:46, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
I have been helping to deal with some inappropriately inserted weather boxes, but I think I have been mistaken myself with this one. There IS a UK Met office station and http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate/gbyr2jjpc is the link I found. Many weather sources that have been used elsewhere seem of little value, being self-published. SovalValtos (talk) 09:53, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Island or peninsula ?[edit]

The name Isle of Portland suggests to me that this has been an island which has become a peninsula a rather long time ago. But I think this (if it is a natural peninsula or a constructed one) should be found easily in the lead. I have been here, working, a number of occations during the autumns of 1994, 1995 and 1996 - several times each year. In Castletown was a "shellfish seller" called Copine Fish. My work was to drive 2 tons (2000 kg) of large crabs to Helsingborg, Scania, Sweden. And I usually slept two nights at Royal Breakwater Hotel, so I've visited Weymouth aswell. Then I had around 24 hrs to drive (including 3 ferry lines) and the (poor) crabs should be alive when coming home. I remember the road from Dorchester, and a warning sign "sharp turn". And sharp indeed it was, it felt like turning even more than 180 degrees (which actually is possible if the slope also is high, which was the case) On local-TV a discussion of merging hospital with Dorchester was aired. And a lady from the council was very much against that project. And she said "remember we need to have a new road to Dorchester first". So 20 years later I wonder if that sharp turn has been improved. In general this area was very pleasant, I think. Nice people too. Boeing720 (talk) 16:35, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

By definition of tied island, Portland is an island. It may well be connected to the mainland, but that doesn't negate from the original fact. User:Bennelliott 10:38, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

The encounter with Vikings[edit]

This article stated earlier that the described incident took place in something like 567 (the 6th century in any case). Was the year wrong ?


There are a few problems here. The entry for 787 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle actually refers to 789 AD, because of a mistake by the scribes. It doesn't state Portland, for that you have to refer to the Annals of St Neots. Only the E & F texts of the ASC specify that they came from Hordaland, and how would the later scribes know that? The Winchester text (A) is earliest and closest, but it just says 'northmen' Finally, the article says they landed at Portland Bill, which is highly unlikely. They would have landed at Church Ope Cove. Dean1954 (talk) 16:23, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

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Primary name: "Portland" or "Isle of Portland"?[edit]

The names "Portland" and "Isle of Portland" seem to be used interchangeably. Do the names signify anything different, or are they simply synonyms? Does one name have primacy of common usage over the other? If the names are equivalent, could the article settle on a primary name for consistency throughout (with explanatory note in the lede)? Feline Hymnic (talk) 18:07, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

The two versions do not signify anything diffferent. In fact differing versions of Ordnance Survey maps show the two names. I personally prefer "Isle of Portland", but perhaps we should wait for other editors comments? Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 11:33, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Maritime House[edit]

Any info about this place Maritime House/Portland Spa Hotel and Conference Centre/ https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q62118405 / Atlantic Academy Portland Maritime House campus. https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/4661078.21_lose_jobs_as_Portland_Spa_hotel_and_conference_centre_closes/ ? Purpose/signifigance? Bogger (talk) 15:21, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

History jumps, ignoring Rufus Castle[edit]

The history section mentions Vikings in the 8th century, then jumps to Henry VIII building Portland Castle in the 16th century. This is odd, because Rufus Castle (15th century on 12th century foundations) has its own wikipedia page. It should be referred to and linked to.Dean1954 (talk) 13:12, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Dean1954 might you be able to do the editing you suggest?SovalValtos (talk) 13:27, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

I could insert a reference to Rufus castle. I'm not sure about putting in a link.Dean1954 (talk) 14:25, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

@Dean1954: If you are unsure about the mechanics of linking or editing, what you might do is draft a sentence or two here in this conversation. Then one of us could incorporate it into the article. Feline Hymnic (talk) 11:47, 21 June 2019 (UTC)

Rufus Castle, also known erroneously as Bow & Arrow Castle, stands on a promontory over Church Ope Cove, which was the normal landing place before the 19th C. construction of Portland Harbour. Rufus castle has no connection with William Rufus, being constructed in the 15th C. for Richard, Duke of York. It took no part in the Wars of the Roses, but is an interesting example of a very early artillery fort. (needs link) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dean1954 (talkcontribs) 11:16, 1 July 2019 (UTC) ping|Dean1954}} Thanks; that was useful. I've tried to incorporate this into Isle of Portland, bearing in mind that there are already articles about the Castle itself and Church Ope Cove. (Note that, for example, "artillery fort" details would primarily belong in the castle's own article. Yet even that article doesn't mention "artillery fort".) Feline Hymnic (talk) 09:40, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Location of Portland[edit]

Intro said that Portland is 5 miles South of Weymouth, & is southernmost point of Co of Dorset. As that describes Portland Bill accurately I amended the text to say Portland Bill. There is not really any place just called Portland, apart from the whole tied island. Mattymmoo (talk) 08:36, 10 July 2021 (UTC)