Tout Quarry Sculpture Park in Portland, Dorset
This abandoned Dorset quarry has been brought back to life with a series of artworks that have been etched right into the remaining stone, creating an enchanting labyrinth of stone carvings.
As one of around 80 quarries in the area of Portland in Dorset that produced the lauded the Portland Stone that was used in a number of London buildings, the Tout quarry began producing stone around 1750. The output from the quarry dwindled in the 20th century however, until it was complete disused in the 1980’s. Luckily, once it was no longer producing rock, it found a much more creative second life.
Taken over by a group of artists who formed the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust, the stone faces and fallen crags have now become a living sculpture garden. The maze of paths through the quarry makes finding each of the etchings in the sculpture park like a game of hide-and-seek, as visitors scramble over boulders and squeeze through mini-valleys to find the little works of art spread across the grounds. To date there are thought to be around 70 sculptures in total at the site, but the true number is not known.
New artists rotate in and out each year so the site is constantly changing and evolving, growing ever more fascinating. If visitors time it right, they can often catch the artisans at work.