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Where is Dorset?

History of Dorset

Dorset is a county located in the southwest of England, bordering the English Channel to the south.

Dorset has a rich and varied history, with evidence of human settlement in the area dating back to the Neolithic period. Over the centuries, the region has been inhabited by Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Vikings, each leaving their mark on the landscape and culture of the area.

During the Middle Ages, Dorset was a prosperous agricultural region, with numerous small villages and market towns dotting the landscape. In the 19th century, the region became known for its scenic beauty and mild climate, attracting wealthy tourists and artists who were drawn to the area’s picturesque landscapes and unspoiled coastline.

Today, Dorset is a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and range of attractions and activities. The county has a population of around 770,000 people, with the largest towns including Bournemouth, Poole, and Weymouth.

Dorset is also home to several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Jurassic Coast, a 95-mile stretch of coastline that features some of the most impressive geological features in the world.

The county is also known for its numerous ancient sites and landmarks, including Maiden Castle, Cerne Abbas Giant, and the ruins of Corfe Castle.

Dorset is a diverse and fascinating part of England, with a long and storied history and a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions.

Ancient Sites in Dorset

Dorset is home to a rich variety of ancient sites and historical landmarks, some of which date back thousands of years.

  • Maiden Castle: This Iron Age hill fort near Dorchester is one of the largest and most complex in Britain, with extensive earthworks, ditches, and ramparts. The fort was occupied for centuries before it was abandoned in the early Roman period.
  • Cerne Abbas Giant: This famous chalk figure, located on a hillside near the village of Cerne Abbas, is thought to date back to the Iron Age or Roman period. The giant figure, which is 55 meters tall, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dorset.
  • Stonehenge: While technically located in neighbouring Wiltshire, the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is just a short drive from Dorset and is one of the most iconic and mysterious ancient sites in Britain.
  • Durdle Door: This natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast is a geological wonder and has been formed over millions of years by the action of the sea and weather.
  • Abbotsbury Swannery: This 600-year-old swannery in the village of Abbotsbury is one of the few remaining places in the world where you can see hundreds of mute swans nesting and breeding in their natural habitat.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or both, there is plenty to see and explore in this beautiful part of England.

Haunted locations in Dorset

Whether you’re a believer in the paranormal or simply interested in the history and folklore of Dorset, a ghost tour can be a fun and unique way to explore the county and learn about its past.

Several of the ancient sites and landmarks in Dorset are believed to be haunted or have ghost stories associated with them. Here are a few examples:

  • Maiden Castle: Some people have reported feeling a sense of unease or being watched while visiting this Iron Age hill fort. Others claim to have seen the ghostly figure of a Roman soldier or a woman in a white dress wandering the site.
  • Athelhampton House: This historic manor house near Dorchester is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including a headless horseman, a grey lady, and a young girl who drowned in the nearby river.
  • Corfe Castle: This ruined castle near the village of Corfe is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who was thrown from the battlements by her jealous stepmother. Some people have reported seeing the ghostly figure of the girl or feeling a cold presence in certain parts of the castle.
  • The Grey Lady of Studland: According to legend, the ghost of a grey lady haunts the churchyard of St. Nicholas Church in Studland. Some have reported seeing the ghostly figure of the lady or feeling a strange presence in the area.

These ghost stories are based on local legends and folklore, and there long association with these ancient sites and landmarks only add to their intrigue and mystique, and continue to captivate visitors and locals alike.

Image credits

  1. Dorset: Image by Roman Grac from Pixabay