The Cove House Inn

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The Cove House Inn is an 18th-century public house on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. It is situated within the village of Chiswell, and lies next to Chesil Beach on the esplanade. The Cove House Inn remains one of Portland's most popular pubs, and has been reputed to be one of the best inns for panoramic views in the area.[1] The pub has been a Grade II Listed Building since May 1993.[2]

History

File:Chesil Cove, Dusk - geograph.org.uk - 1801496.jpg
The Cove House Inn and Chesil Cove at dusk.

Before the pub, there were three fishermen cottages on the site. The pub was later named after the treacherous cove where so many ships were wrecked. The current building has been recorded as being early 19th-century, although there is also evidence that the building has origins from the late 17th to the early 18th century.[3][4] Despite its particularly vulnerable position on the beach, the pub was a survivor during "The Great Gale of 1824".[5][6] The pub's position, overlooking Chesil Cove has linked it to various involvements with shipwrecks.[7] The pub was also a focal point for important meetings on the island. During the course of the 19th-century the pub was used for meetings on supplying assistance to those affected by local storms, the establishment of a lifeboat at Portland in 1870, and for the protest against catching fish with the use of dynamite charges.[2][8]

Due to the position of the pub, vicious storms have caused flooding and damage to the building. Between 1958 and 1965, construction of a sea wall was completed, and this gave the inn and Chiswell village protection from the sea.[9] In past storms, the sea has been recorded as smashing open the pub's door and roaring into the bar as well as throwing pebbles onto the roof.[10] During January-February 2014, a number of major storms saw flooding within Chiswell village. After being the centre of attention on national news, February 2014 saw prime minister David Cameron arrive at Portland to show support for those affected by the storms. During his time on the island he visited The Cove House Inn.[11]

Design

The pub is built with large square dressed Portland stone blocks, and has slate roofs and stone stacks. The interior was modified during the 20th century; and there are substantial dressed stone walls in the basement, possibly part of an earlier building on the site.[2] Outside of the pub is an outside seating area, overlooking Chesil Beach and the rugged cliffs of Portland peninsular.[12] Noted in the 1975 book "Better Pubs in Dorset", the long open windows of the pub are shuttered in the winter storms for protection. Inside the building is made up of old oak furniture and pictures of wrecks. There is also some carving on the bar backing.[3]

References

  1. "The Cove House Inn in Portland: A meal with a stunning view (From Dorset Echo)". Dorsetecho.co.uk. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1280745)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Young, Jimmy. History of Better Pubs in Dorset. Phillips & Co. p. 46. ISBN 978-0950428505.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1280745)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1280745)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://www.dorsetlife.co.uk/2013/01/the-great-gale-of-1824/
  7. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1280745)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Morris, Stuart (1985). Portland: An Illustrated History. Dovecote Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0946159345.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. https://www.dorsetforyou.com/media/203969/Storms-and-Coastal-Defences-at-Chiswell/pdf/Storms_and_Coastal_Defences_at_Chiswell_WEB.pdf
  10. http://www.geoffkirby.co.uk/Portland/680735/
  11. http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2014-02-10/david-cameron-visits-portland-flood-victims/
  12. "The Cove House Inn – Portland | Great food, great location great company". Thecovehouseinn.co.uk. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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