Just 6km south of Portland, the Cape Grant Quarry is located on the eastern cliff of Cape Sir William Grant. This cape represents the core of a volcanic complex between two collapse calderas which underlie Nelson and Grant Bays to the west and east respectively. The Cape Grant quarry supplied an inexhaustible quantity of bluestone for the building of the new Portland harbour.
The first stone was tipped at the root of the main breakwater on 17 November 1952. A small band of interested citizens were there to see the historic event. In the building, the breakwater was consolidated by the heavy traffic of Euclid’s and bulldozers and was further solidified by several storms that swept over it.
Nowadays, blasting at the quarry is heavily regulated and carried out under the instructions of a qualified “powder monkey.” The days of seeing large explosions, along with the deep long loud BOOM are long gone with techniques of controlled blasting now improving overall environmental and safety standards.
The fourth video in our series focuses on the Cape William Grant quarry and the almost inexhaustible quantity of bluestone for the building of the new Portland harbour. A process of transferring thousands of hours of archival footage from 16mm film to high definition has uncovered many hidden gems that we can now bring to life through a series of historical videos for the community to enjoy.