The Old Engine Shed, Portland

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The Old Engine Shed is a disused 19th-century shed, once used for a private quarry-industry railway that ran to Castletown, owned by Admiralty Quarries. The shed is located in The Grove village area, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, overlooking part of East Weares and the eastern coastline of Portland. It has been a Listed Grade II building since January 2001, and is owned by Portland Port Ltd.[1]


The shed dates from the mid-19th century and pre-1864. It was built for the use of the Admiralty Quarries private railway, housing the locomotives for the nearby quarry lines within the area. However the shed was also used for various purposes over the span of 150 years, and at one point it provided stabling for heavy horses used in the quarries. The cable-operated inclined railway ran to Castletown through the former naval dockyard.[2] It would carry stone down to the harbour for use in building the breakwaters which was constructed between 1847-72.[3] The shed was in continued use until circa 1935 and the lines were dismantled during World War II.[1]

In late 2007, plans were announced to turn the engine shed into an interpretation centre for the island. The Portland Gas Storage Ltd (Portland Gas) announced the plans.[3] The project would cost an approximate £1.5 million to turn it into a visitor centre, as part of for a £350 million gas storage facility on the island.[4] However, the gas project has since come to a standstill. According to English Heritage, it is unusual for locomotive sheds from this period to survive in so unaltered a state.[1] In recent years it has suffered badly from vandalism and neglect.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1389124)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 26 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "North of Grove Road, Portland". Retrieved 26 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2
  4. "The Portland Gas Trust". The Portland Gas Trust. Retrieved 26 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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