Local Area

By SPP Reporter

Abbotsbury Village
Abbotsbury Village


century chancel ceiling it has associations with the Civil War and the carved pulpit has bullet holes.In the village of stone and thatch houses at the foot of the Downs near Fleet, there are ruins of the 12th century Benedictine Abbey of St Peter. The swannery created by the monks continues today and, like the sub-tropical gardens nearby, is open to the public daily from 1000-1630 hrs. The Church of St Nicholas is of interest. With its 17

St Catherine’s Chapel is built on a hilltop as a beacon for sailors and is a good viewpoint. It dates from the 15th century and the hill is terraced with lynchets, relics of Bronze Age cultivation.

Athelhampton House

This is a 15th century mansion with 16th century additions and is situated near Puddletown. The Hall has a timbered roof, oriel window, heraldic glass, linen fold panels, secret staircases and a Tudor great chamber. The stables are thatched and there is a 15th century dovecote set in beautiful gardens.

Blandford Forum

A fine Georgian market town on the River Stour with a history of fire, Blandford Forum has few antiquities. It does, however, contain the Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the Town Hall, both fine Georgian buildings for which the Bastard brothers can take most of the credit for the design.

The Blue Pool

The Blue Pool is in the centre of 25 acres of trees, heather, gorse and sand, with the whole area accessible through a network of paths. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The colour of the Blue Pool varies from hour to hour with indescribable shades of green to turquoise. Contrary to what many people think, its blueness is often stronger on overcast days because there is no sunlight reflected off the surface of the Pool. Instead the colour is caused by the diffraction of light from minute particles of clay suspended in the water.

The Tea House is open from Easter to early October for morning coffee, light snacks and cream teas. The Gift Shop has an unusual range of gifts and books. There is also a shop selling toys, postcards, ice creams and soft drinks.

A children’s Play area is about 100 yds beyond the Tea House and the Museum is reached through front entrance of the Tea House. There is a Plant Centre just inside the entrance gate. Some facilities for the disabled. Dogs on leads welcome.

Bournemouth, Rothesay Museum

and 17th century furniture, paintings and ceramics; Victoriana, armour, model shops, butterflies and moths, coins, tokens and items associated with the native peoples of New Zealand, Africa and the Pacific Islands.Contained in this Museum are collections of 16

and Art Gallery Museum Bournemouth, Russell-Cotes

and India; and South American pottery.ThailandCollection representing China, Japan, Burma,works by local artists; the Russell-Cotes Orientaldrawings mainly from the Victorian period;collections of oil paintings, water colours andThe gallery contains

, The Terracotta Warriors Bournemouth

Facsimiles of some of the terracotta warriors and a reconstruction of their excavation. Open daily at the Bournemouth Exhibition Centre in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

Island Brownsea

Owned by the National Trust and lying at the eastern end of Poole Harbour, launches to the Island leave from Poole and Sandbanks. Part of the Island is a Nature Reserve.

Cerne Abbas, Giant

To be seen carved in outline on a hillside east of the Dorchester-Sherborne road near Cerne Abbas is the 180’ high giant – a naked man bearing a club.

Clouds Hill

This is National Trust property one mile north of the camp at which the former home of T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) is to be found. It is open on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (1400-1700 hrs) from April to September and Sundays (1300-1600 hrs) October to March.

Castle Corfe

A village in the Purbeck Hills, some five miles south of Wareham which has some old houses and inns. It is dominated by the ruins of a Norman Castle which was partially destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War in 1646 after a long siege. The

is open daily. Hall MuseumTown

Creech Grange

A William-and-Mary house of Tudor origin, with period furniture and paintings.


County Museum Dorset

Everything here concerns Dorset, its geology, natural history, archaeology and local history. There is a Thomas Hardy Memorial Collection, relics of the poet William Barnes and pictures by Dorset artists.

Dorchester, Dorset Military Museum

The history of the Dorset Regiment from 1660 is illustrated by pictures, uniforms, medals, weapons and relics. The Museum is in the old Barracks at the west end of High Street and is open daily.

Hambledon Hill

The centre of three radiating hill-spurs, north-east of Shillingstone, is occupied by the single bank and ditch of a partly obliterated Neolithic causewayed

camp. There is a long barrow outside the main area on the south-western spur and another lies within the earthworks on the northern spur. These earthworks were the defences of a major hill-fort and now show double or treble banks with additional defences at critical points.

Hardy’s Cottage

Situated at Higher Bockhampton, between Puddletown and Dorchester, and is a thatched cottage where the novelist Thomas Hardy (1840- 1928) was born.

Lulworth Cove

A small, well sheltered cove – in the past a flourishing smugglers’ haunt – Lulworth Cove is the starting point of some pleasant walks.

Milton Abbas

The Gothic style abbey church and house of Milton Abbey are now used as a school. Only part of the abbey church remains but the house contains classical interior decoration and fine ceilings.

Party Hire Brigade (Fire Engine Limousine Hire)

Tel: 07 999 21 68 21

Website: www.partyhirebrigade.co.uk

Provides the ultimate “Fireman Sam” birthday party.

Poole, Compton Acres, Canford Cliffs

A private ownership of seven gardens in English and foreign styles, with statuary in bronze and marble, and many rare plants. The gardens are open to the public from Easter Saturday to the end of October every day from 1030-1830 hrs.

Poole, Old Town House

The house was built as the headquarters of the pre- Reformation Guild of St George. Exhibits are devoted to local history and include pottery, china, armour, arms, shipping and ships. There is a dug-out canoe of the Bronze Age which was raised from Poole Harbour in 1964.

Poole, Tower Park

A leisure centre two miles north-east of Poole town centre. It includes splashdown, a large cinema complex and many other attractions.

Poole Waterfront Museum

All the collections are of local interest and the Museum has sections on archaeology, history, maritime history and local fauna.

Portland Bill

A narrow peninsula to the south of Weymouth. There is a lighthouse at the southern end. Portland Castle was built originally by King Henry VIII. The peninsula is famous for its Portland stone which is still quarried in large quantities. Chesil Beach, a remarkable ridge of graduated pebbles, runs north-west from Portland to Abbotsbury.


This is an 18th century manor containing a collection of antique dolls.


There are several houses of historical interest in the old town but most of Swanage is modern. The town hall was erected in 1883, but the carved stone facade was designed in 1670 by Wren as the entrance to the Mercers’ Hall, Cheapside, London, and re-erected in Swanage. Similarly, the Wellington Clock Tower was originally erected in Southwark, London, in 1854 in honour of the Iron Duke, but was also removed and re-erected in Swanage in 1867.


The town is almost ringed by pre-Roman earthworks. In the Church of St Martin is an effigy of T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and the Church of St Mary has a unique six-sided font. The heaths surrounding Wareham figure as part of Thomas Hardy’s “Egdon Heath’’ in his Wessex novels.

Purbeck Tourist Information and Heritage Centre, Holy Trinity Church, South Street, Wareham. Tel: 01929 552740. Email: purbecktic@compuserve.com

Local Information, Ferry Bookings, Events, Travel Tickets, Local Maps, Books, Gists, Crads, Accommodation Booking Service.

Open all year: Mon-Sat 0930-1700 hrs.

Sun: June-Sept 1000-1300 hrs & 1345-1600 hrs.

Warmwell Leisure Centre

Includes a dry ski slope.


A typical seaside town. No 3 Trinity Street, built in the early 16th century, is an example of a pair of semidetached houses, a style which did not gain popularity until the late 19th century. The furnishing is 17th century and includes an elaborate piece of wrought iron representing the Tree of Jesse.

DeepSea Adventure

Family attraction telling story of underwater exploration, Titanic exhibition – display telling the story of this maritime tragedy, Sharky’s new all-weather children’s adventure play area.

Wool Manor Bridge

An attractive and old bridge near Woolbridge Manor which has a quaint inscription threatening deportation. Woolbridge Manor itself is famous for its association with Thomas Hardy’s Tess in his “Tess of the D’Urbervilles’’.

Farmer Palmers

Family run Farmer Palmer’s is designed specifically for children 8 years and under. Fantastic staff, lots of animal activities, brilliant birthday parties and real home cooking! Lots new for 2010. The all weather attraction that is a full day out of fun & great value for money. Tel: 01202 622 022 Email: info@farmerpalmers.co.uk.

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