Title: The Spirit of Portland: Culture, Folklore and HIstory
Edition: 2nd
Author: Gary Biltcliffe
RRP: £11.99
Sale Price: £9.99
Publication date: Aug 2016
Format: 234 x 156 mm
Number of pages: 192
Illustrations: 66
Maps: 30
ISBN: 9781906651-312

Please CLICK HERE for ordering options

Having sold almost 3,000 copies of the 1st edition, this 2nd edition has been revised and updated for 2016.

Today the Isle of Portland in Dorset has a reputation for its stone quarrying and naval heritage, but behind this lies an island steeped in myth and legend. Why was it so important and strategic throughout Britain’s history? Does Portland hold the key to an ancient Masonic secret? Was it a major centre of the Druids? Are the island families descended from Phoenicians and Jutes? This fascinating book explores the island’s mysteries, its sacred geology and geometry, its ley lines, holy wells, and a giant figure formed from roads and footpaths within its landscape. The use of local traditions and archaeology helps to reveal Portland’s special importance to our ancient ancestors, who built a staggering number of stone circles, standing stones and burial mounds. Discover these places and artefacts for yourself with walks that highlight Portland’s hidden treasures and their significance – with surprises for both locals and visitors.

Local author Gary Biltcliffe has spent 30 years researching and investigating earth mysteries, ancient civilisations and lost knowledge around the world. In this book he makes illuminating and ground-breaking discoveries. Quarrying and development may be rapidly changing the face of Portland, but this book captures its essence.

 What reviewers have said:

Gary Biltcliffe has produced a beautiful and fascinating book about the Isle of Portland that is a ‘must read’ for the resident and visitor alike. He presents a wealth of historical and practical information, while not being shy of delving into the deeper mysteries of this important and curiously neglected archipelago.
Nicholas Mann, British Mystery School of Avalon, Glastonbury


Even the sceptical must acknowledge the thorough research and considerable scholarship that have gone into the book, and it is true that Portland holds more secrets than most outsiders appreciate.
Dorset Life


… What a great thing it is to know and love a location so well that you can write with authority about the things you have seen and found. This the author does with great aplomb!  Not only may we find the unfolding of the island's history, but the book reveals the author's own journey through its byways as he explored the geometry and historic placements of some pretty mystic places.  Out of the way coves and quiet graveyards will often stir the imagination but Portland has more actual places of genuine interest to those of us that tread the paths of natural alignments and sacred footpaths than most.  These are recorded, alongside some stimulating coincidences explained by the author in a cogent and considered way.  Indeed, if you accept the Henry Lincoln approach to landscape geometry there is even more to fascinate you in this book (and let’s face it, Dan Brown has made the approach even more popular than before), but if you are more sceptical then take the book on another level and enjoy the clues that it offers to accessing some of the beautiful and quintessentially English countryside that Portland has to offer.
     So who should read this book?  There is much to hold those with an interest in history and folklore, while Freemasons will also be interested, given the island's strong Masonic heritage … there are some really interesting snippets along the way which offer insights and some interesting new avenues for exploring.  And there is the last category of potential reader – the casual explorer – whether visiting the island for a short break, its sailing or passing through for the excellent walking you will find this the best read for sitting in the pub and planning your foray onto the Portland Bill.  … My only concern is that the paper back will be robust enough to cope with being shoved into a ruck sack or jacket because it really does deserve to be taken out and used.
Stephen Andrews, writer and publisher


… Gary has spent 30 years researching and investigating earth mysteries, ancient civilisations and lost knowledge around the world and in his new book … he shares with us his fascinating discoveries and makes a valuable contribution to the esoteric history of Britain.  … Here we have an adventure embracing the island's many mysteries … and Gary finds even that a giant figure, formed from natural and man-made features, looms from its landscape, the latest of a growing number of such "landscape sculptures" discovered around Britain.
Geoff Ward, Mysterious Planet

 Gary is one of the most respected researchers and speakers in Wessex and this, his first book, aptly reflects the depth and thoroughness of his research over many years. He convincingly, and accessibly, makes connections between Portland and the Phoenicians, the Jutes, Druids and Freemasons, to name but four of many associations. He leads the reader through a wealth of discoveries, which show how Portland has been a sacred Isle since prehistoric times, and how later cultures were drawn to it because of its intrinsic holiness. He draws on local folklore and superstitions to piece together ancient hidden secrets that had been held for far too long.
   Gary shows how the island’s churches, chapels, wells and former stone circles were exquisitely positioned on the land to form sacred geometrical forms, such as pentagrams, a vesica piscis and a landscape giant. Gary also guides us, through a series of walks and maps, around the Isle to see what sites remain, so we can interact with them ourselves – Gary is very much a hands-on guy, which is a concept close to my own heart.
   I cannot praise the book enough, and if every “earth mysteries” and “sacred geometry” book were written with such honesty and sincerity, then the whole subject would be better for it. This book will become the classic on Portland, so I urge you to walk the sacred Isle of Portland and absorb Gary Biltcliffe’s wisdom and insights.
Peter Knight, Author and co-founder of Dorset Earth Mysteries Group



Chapter 1 Sacred Stone

Chapter 2 Monuments of the Ancients
A Burial Place of Kings
Sacred Waters

Chapter 3 A Hallowed Centre and Lost Lands

Rufus Castle
Lost Lands
St Andrew’s Church

Chapter 4 Discovery of the Divine Circles: The Invisible Pattern
The Circle of St Andrew
St Andrew’s Avalanche Church, Southwell
St George’s Church, Reforne
Our Lady and St Andrew’s Church, the Grove
Ancient Technology
The Circle of St George
St Peter’s Church, the Grove
Brackenbury Memorial Church, Fortuneswell
The Vesica Piscis
Pagan Festivals and Witchcraft

Chapter 5 Stonemasons and Secret Knowledge
Inside St Peter’s Church
The Seal of Solomon
The Freemasons
Sir Christopher Wren
The Master Architect
The Symmetry of St George’s Church
The All-Seeing Eye 

Chapter 6 The Portland Meridian
The Pentagram
St John the Baptist’s Church
An Ancient Symbol of Divine Proportion

Chapter 7 The Legacy of the Sea Peoples
The Druids
The Veneti and the Morini
The Phoenicians
Place Name Associations
Associations with St Andrew and St George
Strange Coffins and Stone Heads
The Heritage of the Old Portland Families
King Ine
The Jutes

Chapter 8 A Dark Age of Catastrophe
Lost Lands and the Plague
The Bornholm Connection

Chapter 9 The Holy Land and Lost Tribes
Treasures in the British Museum

Chapter 10 The Trojan Britons
Brutus and Portland
The Giants of Old
Traditions of the British Race

Chapter 11 The Discovery of a Landscape Figure
The Portland Giant
A String of Magical Islands 

Appendix A: A Walking Guide to Portland’s Sacred Sites and Folklore
Walk 1: Rufus Castle and God’s Acre
Walk 2: Giants, Megaliths and the Grove
Walk 3: Witches, Holy Wells and a Sea Monster
Walk 4: Caves, Fairies and Black Dogs
Walk 5: Churches on the Divine Plan

Appendix B: Brutus and the Trojans in Italy


The Author

  Born in 1960, Gary Biltcliffe has appeared on radio and television and has lectured widely in the UK and North America. He has led international groups around the UK’s sacred sites and written articles for local magazines and the Research into Lost Knowledge Organisation. He currently lives in Dorset with his partner Caroline.

Find out more about Gary's work and discoveries at


Please CLICK HERE for ordering info

Useful Links

Portland Community Partnership works with other organisations and charities to deliver Portland projects and ideas.

Let the Light and Energy Channel film take you on a tour of the special places of Portland, with Gary Biltcliffe highlighting the ancient history of the island. The film really brings to life previously hidden places and the findings of the book:

The Wessex Research Group Network – for shared info in the ecological, spiritual, cultural, artistic, historical, and scientific fields:

Nicholas Mann - author, speaker and geomancer:

Former journalist and editor of the Western Daily Press 'Mysterious West' page, click here for Geoff Ward's great new website:

Dorset's premier website devoted to local folklore, customs, mysteries and the unexplained:

Bespoke walks and holidays along the Jurassic Coast, including Portland:

Online radio interview where Gary discusses the legacy of the Etruscans, the mystery of the Pelasgians, the spirit of Portland and magnificent megalithic sites around the world:

Press release for The Spirit of Portland:

Peter Knight - author, lecturer, field guide and much more:

The Axminster Awareness Centre - for festivals, talks, classes and workshops: