Historic Castletown

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  • Posted on: 13 July 2015
  • By: patrick

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Over three years ago Portland Port and Derek Luckhurst first met to discuss an Underwater Curiosity Park with the idea of creating a novel dive site in Portland Harbour that is resilient to poor weather conditions and, therefore, ideal for beginners and a haven for the more experienced divers in

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Historic Castletown - a brief overview

Whilst Portland, as a whole, has a rich and diverse history, Castletown is known for its link with the Royal Navy and the sea. There is evidence of naval and maritime usage of the natural topography of what we now call Portland Port going back to 780AD when the Vikings made their first raids on the English mainland. Currently, the most famous attraction is Portland Castle commissioned by Henry VIII in the 16th century which received 27,370 visitors in 2012. The Castletown Regeneration Project has achieved the following:

  • The D-Day Centre commemorating the embarkation of the American 1st Division for the invasion of France at Omaha beach on 6th June 1944. Since opening in March 2017 the Centre has had over 20,000 visitors in the first year CLICK HERE for further information.
  • The return of a Dunkirk veteran 'My Girl' operating as the seasonal Weymouth to Portland ferry (5,500 passengers last year) and created at least 15 new jobs so far
  • Six statues with links to D-Day located on the Phoenix Caissons
  • With 22 cruise ships scheduled to berth at Portland in 2015, the project will create a number of World War II D-Day attractions relating to the activities carried out by British and, more specifically, American forces during the war.

The aim is to create an environment that will encourage the disembarking cruise line passengers to wander round Castletown and see the sites.