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St George’s Church, Portland

2 April, 2012
St. George's Church, Portland

St. George's Church, Portland

We recently visited St. Georges Church on Portland in order to demonstrate RTI techniques to a team from Wessex Archaeology who were working to document the church and its associated cemetery, you can read more about  work that they are carrying out with the Churches Conservation Trust on our Other Projects page. The project held particular personal interest to us as the church had previously been the parish church for several generations of Nicole’s family.

The church, now managed by the Churches Conservation Trust represents a unique example of 18th century church architecture situated within the quarrying landscape of Western Portland. The cemetery represents a unique documentary record of the families and communities that lived in the area during this period with many names present in the cemetery still known on the island today.

On the first day we had brilliant sunshine, which from a photographic perspective was not ideal. I feel sure that our joy at the onset of heavily overcast and rather chilly weather was not fully shared by the teams of archaeologists and conservators who were also on site at the same time. We managed to gather some spectacular results, many from grave stones which were now illegible to the naked eye, even when exposed to conventional raking light.

We hope very much to be able to revisit the church in the near future and to conduct a more comprehensive campaign of documentation and to ensure that those stones which are no longer legible might be recorded and interpreted adding to our understanding of the history of Portland and its people.

~ Gareth Beale

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