Breakwater Fort, Portland Harbour, Dorset
When I was 9 years old, I looked out my Aunty’s conservatory with a pair of binoculars dreaming of the day I could go to the Breakwater Fort in Portland Harbour and explore it. It’s been a dream of mine for over 20 years. A dream that was constantly the brunt of broken promises & false hope.
For years I forgot all about the Breakwater Fort, until recently. I had explored one of the most top secret bunkers in the country and I needed more. Something closer to home. That’s when a plan was hatched to explore the Fort.
The sheer scale of the Breakwater Fort becomes apparent as you approach the small, secluded harbour. We moored up and headed straight to the Fort, the outbuildings would have to wait.
Descending the iron, spiral staircase my heart was pumping so fast. I was living my dream!
Inside the Fort you’re immediately confronted with an atrium with eight sides. This octagonal floor housed the 32 ton cannons used to defend the harbour. The floor below is where it got really interesting.
Two circular passageways inside each other run around the lower floors of the Fort. Radial Passage 1 & 2. The former was used for lifting shells to the cannons above, while the latter stored the shells in its many storage rooms. At the very centre of the Fort at its lowest point was the impressive Engine Room.
UPDATE: A few of my photos of the Breakwater Fort were used in the excellent iPad app created for The British Library by the Archaeology Data Service. Download it on your iPad here