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County Town - Dorchester


County Town - Dorchester


Dorchester is not only Dorset’s county town but also the birthplace of famous author and poet Thomas Hardy. The town enjoys a rich history dating back as far as the Iron Age and is home to the Roman Town House, the finest example of its kind in Britain.

The county town of Dorset is still recognizably the town in which Tomas Hardy based his novel The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886). The original manuscript of the novel is displayed at the DORSET COUNTY MUSEUM.

Dorchester has the only example of a Roman town house in Britain. The remains reveal architectural details including the fine mosaic. To the north lies Cerne Abbas village. The giant chalk fertility figure on the hillside here is thought to represent either the Roman god Hercules or an Iron Age warrior.

Good to know, that a little south of Dorchester, is the largest Iron Age hill fort in Britain – Maiden Castle. East of Dorchester is Bere Regis, the Kingsbere of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, where the tombs of the family whose name inspired the novel may be seen in the Saxon church. HARDY’S COTTAGE is where the writer was born and MAX GATE is where he lived from 1885 until his death.


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At a glance

  • Activity

    Culture, Sightseeing
  • Address

    Dorset

"The town enjoys a rich history dating back as far as the Iron Age"

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