St Andrew's Church, Portland

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St Andrews Church is a ruined church on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. The church is situated on the east side of the island, above Church Ope Cove. St Andrew's Church was Portland's first parish church and is one of the island's prime historical sites.[1] It remained the parish church until the mid-18th century.[2]

St. Andrews Church is a Grade II* Listed Building and a Scheduled Monument.[3] The southern retaining wall of the churchyard is also Grade II Listed,[4] as are three remaining churchyard monuments, approx 7 metres south of the church.[5]

History

It is believed that the site was once occupied by a Saxon church. Later, Edward the Confessor bestowed Portland to the Benedictine Monks of St. Swithin of Winchester in 1042, who in turn built a new church over the old Saxon foundations in 1100. In 1340 and 1404, French raiders landed at Church Ope Cove and torched St. Andrews, and both times the church was rebuilt.[6]

Around 1470–1475 a tower was added and the church was dedicated to St. Andrew. In 1625 a wall was built to shore up the land after a landslip had damaged the church, and threatened the collapse of half the cemetery. Another major landslip in 1665 caused further damage.[7] The church was abandoned after it was in danger of collapse, after a second massive landslip around 1734–1735, known as The Great Southwell Landslip. A decision was made to close the church and partly demolish it in July 1756.[2] St George's Church was built at Reforne, between 1754 and 1766, to replace the church.

During the second world war, the graveyard and monuments were damaged by bombing.[8] The site was excavated by J. Merrick Head in 1898.[3] The church ruins were cleared and consolidated by the Portland Field Research Group in 1968–1973, and again in 1978–1982 the site was tidied and excavated by archeologists.[9] Today, the barest ruins now remain of the church, while some stones are preserved in the garden of Portland Museum.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "History and Heritage of Portland in Dorset". Visitweymouth.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Anthony Houghton. "Church Ope Cove and Penn's Weare - Information & Photographs". Strolling Guides. Retrieved 15 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1205384)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1205401)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1281853)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Free Portland News. December 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Pennsylvania Castle and Church Ope, Portland". Geoffkirby.co.uk. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 15 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Morris, Stuart (1990). Portland Camera. Dovecote Press. pp. Photo 14. ISBN 978-0946159796.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. http://www.strollingguides.co.uk/workshop/darkroom/galleries/popup.php?refNo=1102281&pageCode=churchope1&subPageCode=standrews&z=m

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