Hallelujah Bay

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File:Hallelujah Bay Portland.JPG
Hallelujah Bay, looking south towards Clay Ope and Blacknor Point.

Hallelujah Bay is a bay located on the west side (West Weares area) of the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK, and is part of the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site. The bay can be viewed from above on the western clifftops, or reached by a dead end footpath commencing from the Chiswell esplanade. Further south alongside the west side of Portland is Clay Ope, which then leads to Blacknor Point and Mutton Cove. Near the cove is a large mound of rock and earth beneath the clifftops known locally as the Green Hump.[1][2]


File:Hallelujah Bay and Tar Rocks Portland.JPG
Hallelujah Bay and Tar Rocks.
File:Hallelujah Bay and West Weares Portland.JPG
Looking up to the clifftops from the bay.

The quarryman Hiram Otter began creating a public footpath from Chesil Cove to Hallelujah Bay in 1885. He became renowned for etching biblical inscriptions onto the boulders he successfully moved. Otter would then cry "Alleluia!" when each text was completed. He christened the bay as Alleluia Bay (or Hallelujah Bay).[3][4]

In 2012, the bay was used for an artistic celebration to coincide with Portland hosting the sailing events of the 2012 London Olympics. A large number of stacked towers of stone pebbles were balanced by a hundred locals of all ages. The event was organised by Portland Stone Stax. The event was held again at the bay in 2013.[5]

The path, an official public right of way, has been subject to landslips over the decades. The successive councils have made continuous attempts to maintain the pathway.[6] In April 2014 the path was officially closed by the council due to landslides and falling rocks.

Tar Rocks

Tar Rocks is located at the bay, and consist of joint-bounded Portland Stone. The rocks are a relic of an ancient landslide, and cannot be moved by the sea, and as such they have not been rounded or smoothed by abrasion. The majority are hidden at high tide.[7] The British cargo steamer SS Thames, (399grt), was wrecked at Tar Rocks in 1891, after being driven ashore in fog.[8][9] In 1930 SS Barmston, a collier, was wrecked at Tar Rocks, and became a total loss.[10]


  1. "Portlandbill.co.uk". Portlandbill.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Southern Chesil". Geoffkirby.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Legg, Rodney (1999). Portland Encyclopaedia. Dorset Publishing Company. p. 82. ISBN 978-0948699566.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=29792
  5. "Balancing pebbles on Portland! 'Stone Stax'; Hallelujah Bay". YouTube. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/680725/
  7. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Portland-Isle-Geological-Introduction.htm
  8. http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?142277
  9. Historic England. "Monument No. 1144565". PastScape. Retrieved 3 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. http://www.portlandbill.co.uk/wrecks_list.htm

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