Named after William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, and Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783, and from 1807- 1809. He was Home Secretary from 1794 to 1801. The name was first used in 1805, and almost certainly seems associated with the story that a rock on the plateau above the headland resembled the Duke of Portland. Lower Portland was the area settled downstream from Portland Head.
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