is a happy example of an old fashioned county town, a proper market centre for
the still-rural county. Daniel Defoe visited in the early 18th century and decided
'a man that coveted a retreat in this world might as agreeably spend his time
in Dorchester, as in any town I know in England'. Defoe had seen most of the towns
in England, travelling to write his Tour through the Whole Island of Great
Britain (1724), so his opinion was worth having.
its bustling shopping precincts, elegant 18th century houses, broad Walks and
vital cultural life, Dorchester has much to offer in relaxation and rural charm.
It still has much of Hardy's Casterbridge about it but, at Maiden Castle, its
history goes back to the Iron Age. Elsewhere, Roman relics and vestiges of Saxon
royalty vie with re-creations of Tutankhamun's Egypt, while modern interpretations
of vernacular architecture create new vistas, championed by Prince Charles.
1685, Judge Jeffreys presided here over the Bloody Assize following Monmouth's
defeat at Sedgemoor, while in 1834, the Tolpuddle six were deported from here
for their part in forming a union.
to see and do in Dorchester - Maiden Castle, Roman Town House, Dorset County Museum,
Keep Military Museum, Tutankhamun's Exhibition, Teddy Bear House, Old Crown Court
& Cells, Eldridge Pope Brewery Tours, Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre/Swimming
Pool, Art Centre.
are many places of interest and beauty to visit nearby. Picturesque villages and
old towns all featured in Thomas Hardy's novels and varied largely unspoiled countryside.
With landmarks such as Max Gate and Hangman's Cottage in Dorchester to Maiden
Castle and the Cerne Giant found in the surrounding area.
Farmhouse is also ideally situated to explore the Jurassic Coast.
has a new heritage site to rank alongside America's Grand Canyon and the Great
Barrier Reef in Australia -the "Jurassic Coast" of Dorset and east Devon.
95 mile strip has become the first natural site in the country to be given World
Heritage Site status by Unesco, the United Nations cultural organisation.
Jurassic Coast is considered to be the only place in the world displaying unbroken
evidence of 180 million years of evolution.
footprints have been identified in the limestone coves and headlands of Purbeck
and the Isle of Portland. Visible on the cliffs around Lyme Regis are several
layers of geological history.
1999, a previously unknown species of dinosaur was discovered near Lyme by a local
fossil hunter, prompting the UN designation.