Port of Portland:  16:30:23 Sat 05/12/2020

Corkscrew Observatory

The original corkscrew was built as a gift to the Portland Harbour Trust by the contractors who constructed the port.  It was designed in 1960 and fabricated shortly after the completion of the Main Breakwater.

The corkscrew was built as an observatory, with the observation deck approximately 13 metres above sea level.  Its original design life was less than 25 years.  The original structure was dilapidated, extremely unsafe and in danger of collapse.

Understanding the historical and community importance of the original structure, in 2016 Port of Portland began the process of designing and building a replacement. 

The new corkscrew is a similar size and has been based on the same spiral shape of the original structure.  The corkscrew has been constructed using mild steel, heavily coated in marine grade paint (similar to what is used on ships).  Heavy duty plastic has been used for the walkway section which will withstand the harsh elements of the marine environment.

A number of videos relating to the corkscrew, including its demolition and replacement, are available via the links below:

The Corkscrew Observatory – demolition of the original structure
Port of Portland Corkscrew Observatory Open Day, 2 December 2018
Official Opening of the new Corkscrew Observatory, 2 December 2018

CORKSCREW OPEN DAYS

Port of Portland holds annual open days, where the community is invited to tour the port and climb the iconic corkscrew observatory. These are usually planned any time from January through to March each year as the weather conditions are more favorable. Stay connected with Port of Portland via Facebook to find out more: