The Isle of Portland juts out like a bird's beak into the English Channel but is not really an island, although it is only joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. The road is about two miles long and runs between Chesil Bank and the huge man-made naval harbour. The land is formed from a massive block of limestone rising from near sea level in the south to over 400 ft high in the north. Portland Castle is a fortress built by Henry VIII and lost amongst the naval buildings and a prison. Almost immediately the road went up a very steep hill to Verne Yeates with immense views of Chesil Bank and the coast as far as Lulworth. Portland has been inhabited since early times and traces of occupation have been dated back 7,000 years. The Romans knew it as 'Vindilis' and Thomas Hardy wrote about it as 'The Isle of Slingers' due to the fact that Portlanders used to throw stones to keep Kimberlins (strangers) away. The isle is an austere place, densely populated, with no trees and a lot of quarries, some still producing Portland Stone and some with dinosaur footprints in the stone. The island is a Royal Manor and many of the quarries are owned by the crown. Tout Quarry contains many sculptures, some of which are easy to see while others are much harder to find. The breakwater, which forms one of the largest harbours in the world (2130 acres), was finished in 1872. The twenty-three years of construction had cost the lives of twenty-two men. Most of the construction work was carried out by convicts, who had hewn stone to form the breakwater at a cost of £1,167,852. At the Bill of Portland there is a red and white lighthouse, built in 1906 and the Trinity House Tower that is now a bird observatory. In spite of the difficulty of actually standing up in the severe wind, several people had climbed onto Pulpit Rock. The 'Races', fast flowing currents, meet here and have been responsible for many disasters. The waves are spectacular.