Find the nearest History & Heritage in Dorset
Our History and Heritage category brings all Coast Radar’s Dorset listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of historic or heritage based activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a Dorset day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the historic and heritage links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next Dorset activity.
- The Blue Pool changes colour from shades of green to turquoise. The deep clay bowls is located within 25 acres of woodland, heath and gorse with marked walks throughout and children play areas and tea house and museum. The red route is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) the Blue Pool is a former clay pit dug in the 1840’s. The colour change is a mystery but the colour you see is related to the conditions. Dogs allowed on leads.
- Wimborne Minster has changed over the centuries. The first church on this site was founded in 705 but the earlest part of today’s church id the eastern 12th century tower. The building makes use of local Purbeck stone and marble with elaborate carving on the interior arches.
- Knowlton Church is a ruined Norman church, built within a neolithic henge monument. The henge enclosing Knowlton Church is only one of three henges and associated earthworks. However, Church Henge is the best preserved. Nearby is Great Barrow, the largest round barrow in Dorset. Aerial photographs reveal a large number of ploughed-out barrows in the immediate vicinity.
- Christchurch Castle is a Norman motte and bailey castle that has stonework dated to 1160 AD. The castle’s site is inside the old Saxon Burh dominating the River Avon’s lowest crossing. Alonmgside the castle you have a chamber block now known as the Norman House.
- Kingston Lacy Country mansion with important collections, set in formal gardens and extensive parkland – children’s adventure playground and Iron Age hill fort, Badbury Rings. The land was gifted to Sir Ralph Bankes by Charles II in the 1660s in appreciation of his loyalty to the Royalist cause. The house you see today went under extensive change in the 1830s by the architect Sir Charles Barry, who architected the Houses of Parliament. The interiors include works by Rubens, Titian and Velazquez whilst the grounds have many marked trails.
- Shaftesbury is a charming market town and Dorset’s only hilltop town founded over 1,000 years ago as the home of King Alfred’s citadel Benedictine Abbey. The Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and garden brings to life the story of the Abbey and its inhabitants. The walled garden includes excavations of the Abbey Church. The Gold Hill is a charming collection of traditional sandstone cottages on a steep cobbled stone hill. This is one of the most photographed roads in England and has featured in TV commercials.
- Clouds Hill, the former home of T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) and is now run as a museum by the National Trust. The cottage remains largely as Lawrence left it at his death. It features an exhibition detailing Lawrence’s extraordinary life, and most of his original furniture and possessions. The cottage reflects his complex personality and close links to the Middle East.
- Sherborne actually has two castles. The now ruins of Sherborne Old castle which was built in the 12th century as a strongly defended palace, Sherborne Old Castle became a powerful Royalist base during the Civil War. Sherborne Castle ‘new castle’ was built in 1594 by Sir Walter Raleigh as a stately home and now reflects over 400 years of English history. The 42 acres of grounds includes the 50-acre lake created by Capability Brown in 1753 and magnificent landscaped gardens of specimen trees, borders and sweeping lawns. The Castle’s interiors include collections of art, furniture and porcelain, together with Raleigh’s original kitchen, family artefacts and archaeological ‘finds’ from the old medieval castle on view in the castle cellars. The Castle Tea Room serves morning coffees, light lunches and afternoon teas, whilst the Gift Shop has a selection of gifts, souvenirs and our very own Sherborne Castle wines.