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The Magic Of Dorchester, Dorset

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

The Magic of Dorchester, Dorset


Dave Lakins

There is something about Dorchester, Dorset that makes it quite unique. Actually, there are many things about Dorchester that make it unique! It’s not just the ancient history that surrounds and envelops our town with iron-age forts, a Neolithic henge (later adapted by the Romans as an amphitheatre) and the recently refurbished and well interpreted Roman Town House excavated in the North West corner of the town.

Dorchester, or Durnovaria as the Romans named it, remains to this day a town of great historical importance. Many guide books, history books and works of fiction dwell on the merits of this lovely county town.

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Of more recent historical importance are the town’s links with the Monmouth rebellion and the infamous Judge Jeffreys who held his ‘Bloody Assize’ here in 1685 and ordered many of the rebels to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Why not visit the Old Crown Court and Cells and walk in the footsteps of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who face trial here in 1834?

Perhaps it is the shining literary pedigree? Two of the towns’ most famous sons are William Barnes and Thomas Hardy. Indeed, the writings of Thomas Hardy made Dorchester famous under the pseudonym of Casterbridge, depicting the town as the heart of his Wessex. Many of these stories have been adapted for cinema and television, the most recent being ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by the BBC.

For those who enjoy architecture, Dorchester offers a rich tapestry of interesting building styles and designs spanning several centuries. The splendid High Street boasts over 70 listed buildings – more than any other street in Britain. Compare these authentic period styles with the more recent buildings on Prince Charles’ Poundbury on the western outskirts of the town. This development has been designed with variety and longevity in mind. Pastiche or tribute? Visit and decide for yourself!

Dorchester is a historic market town and today there is still a thriving market every Wednesday along with regular farmers’ markets.

Whether you are visiting Dorset on your own, with friends or as a family, there are no less than six superb museums to visit from the County Museum and the Keep Military Museum to the more diverse Dinosaur, Terracotta Warriors, Teddy Bear and highly acclaimed Tutankhamun Exhibition.

Add all of the above to the fabulous selection of independent and sometimes quite quirky specialist shops, familiar high street names and a mouth-watering selection of places to eat, drink and be entertained and you can start to understand what makes Dorchester so special and why so many people return time and time again.

There is a warmth and friendliness about the people of Dorchester that tends to make the visitor feel a little more welcome and at home in the town. People just seem to have a bigger smile and a little more time to care. Why not come and explore one of Dorset’s hidden gems, drink in the atmosphere, feel the quiet buzz and enjoy a little piece of our Dorchester; we will try our best to make you feel part of our extended family!

Visit Dorchester and experience one of Dorset’s hidden gems. Visit the historic market town see why Dorchester is such a warm and friendly place.

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