Original copper line engraving of the Portland lighthouse, Dorset from The Gentleman’s Magazine, published 1811.

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From ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle

March 1811 pl.II p.217

An original copper line engraving from The Gentleman’s Magazine, a monthly publication founded by Edward Cave in London in 1731. The magazine flourished throughout the C18th and C19th and provided news and commentary on many subjects intended for the educated public. Unknown illustrator and engraver. Read more about the illustrators of the Gentleman’s Magazine.

This framed antique print shows the ‘new’ conical lighthouse which was constructed in 1789 by William Johns of Weymouth, under contract from Trinity House, to replace two earlier lights which had enclosed lanterns and coal fires. Standing 63 feet high, it was built from Portland stone to warn ships of the nearby Shamble Bank that causes the notoriously dangerous ‘Portland Race’. The doors and windows were Gothic in style and above the south doorway was a marble inscription explaining its erection for “the direction and comfort of Navigators… by the Ancient Corporation of Trinity House… Distance from the cliff 1608 feet.”

Two new lighthouses, the High and Low lights, were built in 1869 to replace John’s structure, and the present single tower with its distinctive red and white stripes, was built in 1906 at 115 feet, to replace them. The Low light is now a bird observatory and field centre.

In the right of the engraving is St George’s church, a Georgian building that replaced the earlier ruins of St Andrew’s church. It was built by the architect Thomas Gilbert and consecrated in 1766, but the exposed position it held meant that the roof needed replacing in 1798. It continued as the parish church until All Saints was consecrated at Easton in 1917.

This print is in a good clean condition and is presented in an ivory conservation quality mount and framed with a dark walnut and gold wood frame with acrylic glazing. Price – £40.00.

Approximate dimensions are:

Mount window: 220 x 170 mm

Frame exterior: 290 x 230 mm

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg