St George's Church, Portland, Dorset

Address: Reforne, Wide Street, Portland, Dorset, DT5 2JP
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Open between the hours of 10:00-17.00 Until End of October 10.00-15.00 Winter Months
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

A church inspired by St Paul's Cathedral

Vast and solitary, St George's is one of  the most magnificent 18th-century church in Dorset. It rises from the rocky, treeless and dramatic peninsula of Portland and is the masterwork of a local mason named Thomas Gilbert whose grandfather supplied the Portland stone used to build St Paul’'s Cathedral.

The interior is fabulously preserved with it's lectern, pulpit, box pews and galleries all surviving. It is a 'preacher’s church’ with all the seating facing the twin pulpits – one for reading 'the Word’ (scripture), the other for lengthy sermons.

The sprawling churchyard is a treasure trove of fabulous headstones and memorials that tell tales of murder, piracy and adventure in a gloriously atmospheric setting.

There are inscriptions to Mary Way and William Lano, who were shot and killed in 1803 by a press gang, and Joseph Trevitt, an assistant warder at Portland Prison who was murdered by a convict in 1869.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

Easton, Isle of Portland. Parking available close to church.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Weymouth (4.6 miles). Bus route number 1

OS Reference No.

SY 686 720

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

See more events and news

Nearby attractions

St Peter's Church,  Winterborne Came, Dorset

St Peter's Church, Winterborne Came, Dorset
The quintessential country squire's church

The Church (no dedication),  Whitcombe, Dorset

The Church (no dedication), Whitcombe, Dorset
A saint, a mermaid and a lost dedication

Portland Castle

Portland Castle
Built by Henry VIII to defend England, the Castle also played a part in World War I and II. Attractions include Tudor kitchen, Great Hall, gardens, sea views, tearooms and audio tour.

Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle
English Heritage property

See more nearby churches & attractions

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

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What’s on at this church

The list below provides brief summaries of events coming up at this church. You can find out more about each event by clicking on individual event titles in the summary list.

News about this church

You can find out more about each of the news items summarised below by clicking on the news title.

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Images from Flickr

The CCT is grateful to the Flickr group, Friends of the Churches Conservation Trust, for the images shown here. CCT is not responsible for the quality or content of images taken from Flickr.


Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.

 

 

 

 

PDF iconCornwall, Devon & Dorset County Guide (PDF, 4.5mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Cornwall, Devon & Dorset. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

Nearby CCT churches

St Peter's Church,  Winterborne Came, Dorset

St Peter's Church, Winterborne Came, Dorset The quintessential country squire's church Winterborne Came, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8NT
See church page

The Church (no dedication),  Whitcombe, Dorset

The Church (no dedication), Whitcombe, Dorset A saint, a mermaid and a lost dedication Whitcombe, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8NY
See church page

All Saints' Church,  Nether Cerne, Dorset

All Saints' Church, Nether Cerne, Dorset A riverside church in the Cerne Valley Nether Cerne, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7AJ
See church page

Nearby attractions

Portland Castle

Portland Castle Built by Henry VIII to defend England, the Castle also played a part in World War I and II. Attractions include Tudor kitchen, Great Hall, gardens, sea views, tearooms and audio tour. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/portland-castle

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. David Churchill (22 Jan 2012, 20:53)

    I went to St George's one rainy day in the early 1980s, when we had time on out hands and nothing better to do. What a fabulous find! This is a true treasure. Must get back there sometime.

  2. Felicity (17 Mar 2013, 08:56)

    I drove past this church the other day and its unusual design caught my eye, so felt I had to pop in and visit.

    I really liked the layout and box pews inside. It's very light and airy, so must be lovely in summer.

    By chance I chatted to one of the volunteers looking after it, and it's got a very interesting history. Definitely worth a visit if you're on the island.

  3. Jac (11 Jun 2013, 12:50)

    Visited yesterday on the off chance as sign of road said it was open.
    What a treasure. The graveyard is atmospheric, grand and a hidden haven of wild flowers.
    Inside you are immediately transported to the 18th century. The starkness and echos fill you with an image of hard working sailors, naval officers in their uniforms and the pounding voice of hell and damnation form the preacher.
    The volunteer was a lovely lady - informative and enthusiastic
    AND I got to rang the bell.
    Don't drive past this is a real gem

  4. Gordon (29 Sep 2013, 16:58)

    Visited purely by chance (didn't even know it was there) - well worth the visit - so don't miss it. A really beautiful place and it's also worth spending the time not only looking around the Church, but also the Churchyard itself - wildlife abounds, including some kestrels !

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

St George's Church, Portland, Dorset

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.