Roman Town House


The History of Dorchester

Dorchester is a pretty market town with a history dating back to Roman times. Traces of Iron Age structures can be found within two miles of Dorchester, such as Maiden Castle, the largest hill fort in Europe. The town is also known for being the place from which the Tolpuddle Martyrs were deported to Australia in the 19th century. One of the most famous residents here was the author, Thomas Hardy, and the house where he lived is now open to the public. The beautiful Georgian buildings are a particular feature of Dorchester, and reveal much of its history. There is undoubtedly a great deal to discover in this town.

Historic Buildings of Dorchester

20 Sep 2020

England’s Dorchester parish contains almost 300 antique structures officially recognised by the UK authorities as historical monuments.

These include the fascinating 11th-century Church of St. George; the 15th-century Church of St. Peter; and the remains of an ancient Roman townhouse dating back to the fourth century.

The Museums of Dorchester

13 Sep 2020

Dorchester is a small town in the southwestern county of Dorset. It has a rich history and plenty of museums. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the museums in and around Dorchester.

The Teddy Museum

One of the unusual museums in the area, the teddy bear museum boasts a plethora of historical teddy bears.

Some of the oldest teddies in the collection date back to 1906. Other noteworthy teddy bears in the collection include Yogi Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Paddington, and Rupert the Bear.

This museum originated in Bournemouth in the year 1990 but moved to Dorchester in 1995. It’s the oldest teddy bear museum in Britain.

The Amarna Centre Mummies and Tutankhamun Exhibition

This exhibition quotes replicas of various famous Egyptian mummies, including Rameses the Great.

Specific exhibits include the mummification process, mummies unwrapped, and more.

Located on high West Street, this exhibit is next to the Tutankhamun Exhibition. The latter display is a complete recreation of the tomb and treasures of this Egyptian king.

All the artefacts, including the golden mask, were recreated using traditional methods. This museum provides an authentic ancient Egyptian experience.

Hardy's Cottage and Hardy's Home

Thomas Hardy was an English poet and novelist in the late 1800's and early 1900's. His works have been responsible for inspiring and guiding generations of novelists since. Both the cottage where he was born, named Hardy's Cottage, and the home where he later resided, Max Gate, are historical treasures.

The National Trust handles protecting and conserving both properties. Both are now immersive Victorian experiences focused upon the novelist.

The Dinosaur Museum

No list of museums would be complete without mentioning the treasures of the Dinosaur Museum. Especially popular among children, this museum gives you the chance to dive deep into prehistory.

Among the many exhibitions here are dinosaur eggs, life-sized recreations, and dinosaur skeletons. This museum also offers various courses for those with further interest in prehistoric creatures.

Terracotta Warriors Museum

Dorset doesn't just offer opportunities for history lovers. This town sports the only museum in Britain that is focused on the terracotta soldiers.

The purpose of the terracotta soldiers is still debated. Experts believe that the soldiers' duty was to guard emperor Qin Shi Huang Di in the afterlife.

The emperor had a well-known obsession with the afterlife. He stocked his tomb with thousands of treasures. He also took his 3000 wives and concubines to the afterlife with him.

At this museum on Salisbury Street, you can see recreations and many related exhibitions.

Dorset County Museum

This museum is set to reopen later this year after more than a year of renovation. Dorset County Museum is the type of museum we all know and love. It provides various exhibitions about different times and topics.

Other Entertainment Options

The options for entertainment in Dorchester are not restricted to history. If you're a plant lover, you could visit the Borough Gardens and enjoy the beautiful landscaping. Speaking of which, you could also visit the sculpture garden created by Simon and Monique Gudgeon, as well as various other parks. Indoor entertainment is rather limited in the area, although online casinos can make up for this nowadays (see full list on

Thomas Hardy: Dorchester’s Most Famous Son

30 Aug 2020

Celebrated novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) grew up in a home just east of Dorchester.

Hardy’s townhouse, where he lived until his death, is now a public museum.

The fictional town in Hardy’s novel ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ is said to have been based on the author’s hometown of Dorchester.

Dorchester: Ancient Beginnings

27 Jul 2020

The areas surrounding the English town of Dorchester were initially settled back in prehistoric times.

After defeating local Celtic tribesmen, the Romans built a military garrison in the area, along with an impressive aqueduct system.

The town declined in importance after the Romans’ departure but enjoyed a significant commercial revival during England’s medieval period.