The market town of Dorchester Dorset lies on the River Frome. Dating back into the prehistoric times the town has been the county town of Dorset since 1305. Today it is a bustling city with lots of culture and heritage for people to enjoy.
Just a few minutes from downtown is the Borough Gardens. Here visitors can enjoy a children's play area, two tennis courts, and a bowling green in addition to the many beautiful flowerbeds, bandstand and clock tower. This picturesque garden is a great way to enjoy the beauty of this quiet market town.
Visitors to Dorchester will enjoy touring the Maiden Castle. The Maiden Castle is the largest hillfort in England. Located around two miles (3.2 kilometers) south of the town of Dorchester but is worth the short trip out of town. Maiden Castle was founded over 3,000 years ago and houses a museum and the remains of a Roman temple that was constructed in the 4th century.
Another site that should be visited during your stay in Dorchester is the Roman town house. Built in the 4th century this home wasn't discovered until the 1930's during an excavation. This house is open to everyone to visit free of charge. This well preserved piece of history will give you a nice idea of what life might have been like back in the 4th century.
If you are in the area during the August Bank Holiday be sure to visit the French Market. During this three day weekend you can find many French flavors such as crepes, sausages, cheeses, breads, and sweets. You can also find things like leather goods and lots more.
Another historic site that should be seen is the Old Shire Hall. Located along High West Street this is the site of the old court house. In 1834 this was the site of the famous trail of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. These men were sent to prison in Australia for conspiracy when they tried to secure better wages for farm hands. Two years after they were sentenced they were pardoned and since then the old court room has become a monument to those men.
For those interested in a good ghost story as well as food then visit Judge Jeffreys. In the 1600s, George Jeffreys was a judge known for handing out death sentences to those he felt were supporters of a failed rebellion. In 1677 he visited the Dorchester area and lodged at 6High West Street which is now a restaurant named for the late Judge. It is believed that his ghost still haunts the area.
The famous author Thomas Hardy was also raised in this area. Max Gate, the home he designed and had built, is open for visitors. In this house Hardy wrote many of his now famous novels. Visitors can see the home and many pieces of his furniture. His study, however, has been relocated and recreated in the Dorset County Museum.
Dorchester is home to many historical sites and outdoor beauty for visitors to enjoy.
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