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Underhill (Chiswell & Fortune's Well)

The area known locally as Underhill is the lower part of Portland at the northern end of the island. It contains the villages of Chiswell and Fortune's Well. From Victoria Square the road climbs steeply to Portland Heights via Fortune's Well. The road is supported along most of its length by a Victorian stone wall built on the western side of the road. This is visible in part at the northern end of Victoria Gardens. The road was used to transport stone from the quarries using horses to pull the heavy loads. Later the Merchant's railway was built, which was the first privately funded railway in the country. The railway ran from Tout quarry near Portland Heights east along New Ground and along the side of Verne Hill to the high ground above Castletown. Here there was a very steep incline where the stone was lowered by pulleys to the harbour.

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Chiswell and the beach in rough weather from Portland Heights.
Fortune's Well from Priory Corner.
Fortune's Well and Portland Heights from Verne Hill.
Tilleycoombe from Verne Hill, showing the line of the Merchant's railway.
Looking west from Priory Corner.
Fortune's Well and Verne Hill.
Portland is the only place that I know that has a shipyard at the top of a hill. This boat was only two inches narrower that the gap between the houses in Fortune's Well and it almost got stuck. There was some damage done to the bay window on the left but it made it - slowly.
The boat was transported in two halves. The top half followed later.


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