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Dorset
The Dorset Cross flag of Dorset
Flag of Dorset
Motto of County Council: Who's afear'd
EnglandDorset.svg
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Origin Historic
Region South West England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 20th
2,653 km2 (1,024 sq mi)
Ranked 21st
2,542 km2 (981 sq mi)
Admin HQ Dorchester
ISO 3166-2 GB-DOR
ONS code 19
NUTS 3 UKK22
Demography
Population
- Total (2008 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 32nd
710,500
265 /km2 (686/sq mi)
Ranked 27th
407,800
Ethnicity 98.1% White
Politics

Dorset County Council
http://www.dorsetforyou.com/
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament
Districts
Dorset districts.png
  1. Weymouth and Portland
  2. West Dorset
  3. North Dorset
  4. Purbeck
  5. East Dorset
  6. Christchurch
  7. Bournemouth (Unitary)
  8. Poole (Unitary)

Neighbouring counties are (A–D): Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire

Dorset (pronounced /ˈdɔrsɨt/) (or archaically, Dorsetshire), is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town has been Dorchester since at least 1305,[1] situated in the south of the county at 50°43′00″N 02°26′00″W / 50.7166667°N 2.4333333°W / 50.7166667; -2.4333333Coordinates: 50°43′00″N 02°26′00″W / 50.7166667°N 2.4333333°W / 50.7166667; -2.4333333. Between its extreme points Dorset measures 80 kilometres (50 mi) from east to west and 64 km (40 mi) north to south, and has an area of 2,653 square kilometres (1,024 sq mi). Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. Around half of Dorset's population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation. The rest of the county is largely rural with a low population density. Dorset's motto is 'Who's Afear'd'.

Dorset is famous for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, which features landforms such as Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door, as well as the holiday resorts of Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth, Swanage, and Lyme Regis. Dorset is the principal setting of the novels of Thomas Hardy, who was born near Dorchester.[2] The county has a long history of human settlement and some notable archaeology, including the hill forts of Maiden Castle and Hod Hill.

Contents

History

The first known settlement of Dorset was by Mesolithic hunters, from around 8000 BC.[3] Their populations were small and concentrated along the coast in the Isle of Purbeck, the Isle of Portland, Weymouth and Chesil Beach and along the Stour valley. These populations used tools and fire to clear these areas of some of the native Oak forest. Dorset's high chalk hills have provided a location for defensive settlements for millennia, there are Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds on almost every chalk hill in the county, and a number of Iron Age hill forts, the most famous being Maiden Castle, constructed around 600BC.[4] The chalk downs would have been deforested in the Iron Age, making way for agriculture and animal husbandry.

Dorset has Roman artefacts, particularly around the Roman town Dorchester, where Maiden Castle was captured from the Celtic Durotriges by a Roman Legion in 43 AD under the command of Vespasian, early in the Roman occupation.[5][6] Roman roads radiated from Dorchester and from the hillfort at Badbury, following the tops of the chalk ridges to the many small Roman villages around the county.[7] The Romans also had a presence on the Isle of Portland, constructing - or adapting - hilltop defensive earthworks on Verne Hill.[8] In the Roman era, settlements moved from the hill tops to the valleys, and the hilltops had been abandoned by the fourth century. A large defensive ditch, Bokerley Dyke, delayed the Saxon conquest of Dorset from the north east for up to two hundred years.[9] The Domesday Book documents many Saxon settlements corresponding to modern towns and villages, mostly in the valleys.[10] There have been few changes to the parishes since the Domesday Book. Over the next few centuries the settlers established the pattern of farmland which prevailed into the nineteenth century. Many monasteries were also established, which were important landowners and centres of power.[11] The earliest recorded use of the name was in AD 940 as Dorseteschire, meaning the dwellers (saete) of 'Dornuuarana' (Dorchester)

In the 12th-century civil war, Dorset was fortified with the construction of the defensive castles at Corfe Castle, Powerstock, Wareham and Shaftesbury, and the strengthening of the monasteries such as at Abbotsbury.[12] In the 17th-century English Civil War, Dorset had a number of royalist strongholds, such as Portland Castle, Sherborne Castle and Corfe Castle,[13] the latter two being ruined by Parliamentarian forces in the war.[14] In the intervening years, the county was used by the monarchy and nobility for hunting[15] and the county still has a number of Deer Parks. Throughout the late Mediaeval times, the remaining hilltop settlements shrank further and disappeared. From the Tudor to Georgian periods, farms specialised and the monastic estates were broken up, leading to an increase in population and settlement size. During the Industrial Revolution, Dorset remained largely rural, and retains its agricultural economy today. The Tolpuddle Martyrs lived in Dorset, and the farming economy of Dorset was central in the formation of the trade union movement.[16]

Physical geography

Most of Dorset's landscape falls into two categories, determined by the underlying geology. There are a number of large ridges of limestone downland, much of which have been cleared of the native forest and are mostly grassland and some arable agriculture. These limestone areas include a band of chalk which crosses the county from south-west to north-east incorporating Cranborne Chase, the Dorset Downs and Purbeck Hills. Between the areas of downland are large, wide clay vales (primarily Oxford Clay with some Weald Clay and London Clay) with wide flood plains. These vales are primarily used for dairy agriculture, dotted with small villages, farms and coppices. They include the Blackmore Vale (Stour valley) and Frome valley.

South-east Dorset, around Poole and Bournemouth, lies on very non-resistant Eocene clays (mainly London Clay and Gault Clay), sands and gravels. These thin soils support a heathland habitat which supports all seven native British reptile species. The River Frome estuary runs through this weak rock, and its many tributaries have carved out a wide estuary. At the mouth of the estuary sand spits have been deposited turning the estuary into Poole Harbour, one of several worldwide which claim to be the second largest natural harbour in the world (after Sydney Harbour, though Sydney's claim is disputed). The harbour is very shallow in places and contains a number of islands, notably Brownsea Island, famous for its Red Squirrel sanctuary and as the birthplace of the Scouting movement. The harbour, and the chalk and limestone hills of the Purbecks to the south, lie atop Europe's largest onshore oil field. The field, operated by BP from Wytch Farm has the world's oldest continuously pumping well (Kimmeridge, since the early 1960s) and longest horizontal drill (8 km/5 mi, ending underneath Bournemouth pier). Pottery is produced by Poole Pottery from the local clays.

Most of Dorset's coastline was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001 because of its geological landforms.[17] The coast documents the entire Mesozoic era, from Triassic to Cretaceous, and has yielded important fossils, including the first complete Ichthyosaur and fossilised Jurassic trees.[17] The coast also features notable coastal landforms, including textbook examples of a cove (Lulworth Cove) and natural arch (Durdle Door). Jutting out into the English Channel is a limestone island, the Isle of Portland, connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach, a tombolo.

In the west of the county the chalk and clay of south-east England begins to give way to the marl and granite of neighbouring Devon. Until recently Pilsdon Pen at 277 metres (909 ft), was thought to be the highest hill in Dorset, but recent surveys have shown nearby Lewesdon Hill to be higher, at 279 metres (915 ft).

The county has the highest proportion of conservation areas in England— including an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (44% of the whole county),[18] a World Heritage Site (114 km/71 mi),[19] two Heritage Coasts (92 km/57 mi)[19] and Sites of Special Scientific interest (199.45 km2/49,285 acres).[20] The South West Coast Path, a National Trail, runs along the Dorset coast from the Devon boundary to South Haven Point near Poole.

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Climate

The climate of Dorset has warm summers and mild winters, being the third most southern county in the UK, but not westerly enough to be afflicted by the more intense winds of Atlantic storms that Cornwall and Devon experience. Dorset, along with the south-west, experiences higher winter temperatures (average 4.5 to 8.7 °C or 40° to 48 °F) than the rest of the United Kingdom,[21] while still maintaining higher summer temperatures than that of Devon and Cornwall (average highs of 19.1 to 22.2 °C or 66° to 72 °F).[22] The average annual temperature of the county is 9.8 to 12 °C (50°–54 °F), apart from areas of high altitude such as the Dorset Downs.[23] In coastal areas around Dorset it almost never snows.

The south coast counties of Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent enjoy more sunshine than anywhere else in the United Kingdom, receiving 1541–1885 hours.[24] Average annual rainfall varies across the county—southern and eastern coastal areas receive as little as 741 mm (29.2 in) per year, while the Dorset Downs receive between 1,061 and 1,290 mm (41.7–50.8 in) per year; less than Devon and Cornwall to the west but more than counties to the east.[25]

Demography

Poole Quay

Dorset has a population of 406,800, plus 163,200 in Bournemouth and 138,000 in Poole (total 708,000 – mid-year estimates for 2007).[26] The following statistics exclude Poole and Bournemouth, which are no longer part of the administrative county. 98.7% of Dorset's population are of white ethnicity. 77.9% of the population are Christian and 13.7% are not religious.[27] Dorset has the highest proportion of elderly people of any county in the United Kingdom: 27.4% of the population are over 65.[28]

The county has one of the lowest birth rates of the 34 shire English counties, at 8.7 births per 1000, compared to the England and Wales average of 12.1/1000.[28] It has the third highest mortality rate (12.0/1000), behind East Sussex and Devon.[28] In 1996 deaths exceeded births by 1,056, giving a natural population decline of 2.7 per 1000, however, in 1997 there were 7,200 migrants moving to Dorset and the Poole-Bournemouth conurbation, giving Dorset the second highest net population growth, behind Cambridgeshire, at 17.3‰.[29][30]

Population totals for Dorset
Year Population Year Population Year Population
1801 101,857 1871 178,813 1941 214,700
1811 112,930 1881 183,371 1951 233,206
1821 129,210 1891 188,700 1961 259,751
1831 143,443 1901 188,263 1971 292,811
1841 161,617 1911 190,940 1981 321,676
1851 169,699 1921 193,543 1991 366,681
1861 174,255 1931 198,105 2001 390,986
Pre-1974 statistics were gathered from local government areas that now comprise Dorset
Source: Great Britain Historical GIS.[31]

Politics

Dorset County Council is based at County Hall in Dorchester.[32] Following the local council elections in June 2009, 28 Conservatives, 16 Liberal Democrats and one independent councillor sit on the county council.[33]

South Dorset is represented in Parliament by Labour MP Jim Knight, though this constituency was Labour's smallest majority and was one of the most fiercely contested seats in the General Election of 2005.[34] In the event, the seat went against the national trend and Mr Knight's majority increased slightly on a swing from the Conservatives.[35] In all other Dorset constituencies, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are the most successful parties: Mid-Dorset and North Poole is represented by the Liberal Democrats,[36] and West Dorset, Christchurch and North Dorset by the Conservatives.[37][38][39]

The built up area of Poole and Bournemouth is divided into three constituencies, Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West and Poole, all of which are represented by Conservative MPs.[40][41][42] Dorset, the rest of the south west, and Gibraltar are in the South West England constituency of the European Parliament.[43]

Economy and industry

Abbotsbury Great Barn

In 2003 the gross value added (GVA) for the administrative county was £4,673 million, with an additional £4,705 million for Poole and Bournemouth.[44] 4% of GVA was produced by primary industry, 26% from secondary industry and 70% from tertiary industry. The average GVA for the 16 regions of South West England was £6,257 million. The GVA per person is £11,475 for the administrative county, £15,532 for Poole and Bournemouth, £15,235 for the South West and £16,100 for the UK.

The principal industry in Dorset was once agriculture. It has not, however, been the largest employer for many decades as mechanisation has substantially reduced the number of workers required. Agriculture has become less profitable and the industry has declined further. Between 1995 and 2003 GVA for primary industry (largely agriculture with some fishing and quarrying) declined from £229 to 188 million—7.1% to 4.0% of the county's GVA. In 2002, 1,903 km2 (735 sq mi) of the county was in agricultural use, down from 1,986 km2 (767 sq mi) in 1989, although the figure has fluctuated somewhat. Cattle is the most common animal stock in the county, their numbers fell from 240,413 to 178,328 in the same period; the dairy herds fell from 102,589 to 73,476. Sheep and pig farming has declined similarly.

West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust employs around 2,500 multi-disciplinary staff; the majority at the 500-bed Dorset County Hospital which provides a turnover of £76 million.[45] This new hospital was a larger replacement for Dorchester Hospital, which was built in 1840, and closed in 1998.

Tourism has grown as an industry in Dorset since the early 19th century. 3.4 million British tourists and 360,000 foreign tourists visited the county in 2006, spending a combined total of £659 million.[46] Numbers of both domestic and foreign tourists has fluctuated in recent years due to various factors including security and economic downturn, a trend reflected throughout the UK.[47]

Dorset has little manufacturing industry, at 14.6% of employment (compared to 18.8% for the UK), and is ranked 30th out the 34 non-metropolitan English counties. The gross domestic product for the county is 84% that of the national average.

Dorset will host the sailing event at the 2012 Summer Olympics at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Portland Harbour. Along with Weymouth Bay, these waters have been credited by many, including the Royal Yachting Association, as being amongst the best in Northern Europe for sailing.[48][49] Due to the venue being completed and available before the Olympics (on May 19, 2009),[49][50] it will be used by international sailing teams, in preparation for the event in 2012.[51][52]

Culture

Cerne Abbas manor house

As a largely rural county, Dorset has fewer major cultural institutions than larger or more densely populated areas. Major venues for concerts and theatre include Poole Borough Council's Lighthouse arts centre, Bournemouth's BIC and Pavilion Theatre, Wimborne's Tivoli Theatre, and the Pavilion theatre in Weymouth. Dorset's most famous cultural institution is perhaps the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1893 and now one of the country's most celebrated orchestras.[53]

Dorset is not especially famous in sport, though Football League Two A.F.C. Bournemouth, Conference South Dorchester Town F.C., Weymouth F.C., and minor county cricket club Dorset CCC play in the county. Rugby Union is played throughout the county and the Dorset & Wiltshire Rugby Football Union is the constituent body responsible for organising rugby union competitions in the county on behalf of the RFU.[54] Bournemouth RFC compete in the fifth tier of national competition and are the reigning Dorset & Wiltshire RFU Challenge Cup Champions. Swanage & Wareham RFC compete in the sixth tier of national competition. The county is notable for its watersports, however, which take advantage of the sheltered waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour,[55] and Poole Bay and Poole Harbour.[56]

Dorset is famed in literature for being the native county of author and poet Thomas Hardy, and many of the places he describes in his novels in the fictional Wessex are in Dorset, which he renamed South Wessex.[57] The National Trust owns Thomas Hardy's Cottage, in woodland east of Dorchester, and Max Gate, his former house in Dorchester. Several other writers have called Dorset home, including Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), who lived in Stalbridge for a time; Ian Fleming (James Bond), who boarded at Durnford School, poet William Barnes; John le Carré, author of espionage novels; Tom Sharpe of Wilt fame lives there as does P.D. James (The Children of Men); satirical novelist Thomas Love Peacock; John Fowles (The French Lieutenant's Woman), lived in Lyme Regis before he died in late 2005;[58] T.F. Powys lived in Chaldon Herring for over 20 years and used it as inspiration for the fictitious village of Folly Down in his novel Mr. Weston's Good Wine;[59] John Cowper Powys, his elder and better known brother, who set a number of his most famous novels in Dorset and Somerset;[60] and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde while living in Bournemouth.

Dorset is also the birthplace of artist Sir James Thornhill, musicians John Eliot Gardiner, Eddie Argos, P.J. Harvey, Greg Lake and Robert Fripp, photographer Jane Bown, palaeontologist Mary Anning and archbishops John Morton and William Wake. Explorer Sir Walter Raleigh lived in Dorset for some of his life, while scientist and philosopher Robert Boyle lived in Stalbridge Manor for a time; the naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace was also a resident, and is buried at Broadstone. Dorset is a popular home for celebrities. Those who have moved to or own second homes in Dorset include Madonna and Guy Ritchie, actor Martin Clunes, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, Jonathan Ross, Oasis singer Noel Gallagher, composer, conductor and musician Peter Moss, and footballer Jamie Redknapp.[61] Many of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's television programmes are filmed at his home, just outside of Bridport. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, lived in Corfe Mullen and began his career at telecommunications company Plessey in Poole.[62] Classical composer Muzio Clementi lived and worked near Blandford in Dorset.

Settlements and communications

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury
Weymouth promenade

Dorset is largely rural with many small villages, few large towns, no cities and no motorways. The largest conurbation is the South East Dorset conurbation which consists of the seaside resort of Bournemouth, the historic port of Poole and the town of Christchurch plus many villages. Bournemouth was created in the Victorian era when sea bathing became popular. As an example of how affluent the area has become, Sandbanks in Poole was worthless land unwanted by farmers in the nineteenth century, but is said to be amongst the highest land values by area in the world.[63] Originally part of Hampshire, Bournemouth and Christchurch were added to boundaries of Dorset following the reorganisation of local government in 1974.[64][65]

The other two major settlements in the county are Dorchester, (the county town), and Weymouth, one of the first tourist towns, frequented by George III, and still very popular today. Blandford Forum, Sherborne, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton are historical market towns which serve the farms and villages of the Blackmore Vale (Hardy's Vale of the Little Dairies). Blandford is home to the Badger brewery of Hall and Woodhouse. Bridport, Lyme Regis, Wareham and Wimborne Minster are also market towns. Lyme Regis and Swanage are small coastal towns popular with tourists.

Still in construction on the western edge of Dorchester is the experimental new town of Poundbury (expected to be fully completed by 2025), commissioned and co-designed by Prince Charles.[66] The suburb is designed to integrate residential and retail buildings and counter the growth of dormitory towns and car-oriented development.

Dorset is connected to London by two main railway lines. The West of England Main Line runs through the north of the county at Gillingham and Sherborne (there is also a station at Templecombe, just over the Somerset border). Running west to Crewkerne (Somerset) and Axminster (Devon) it provides a service for those who live in the western districts of Dorset.[67] The South Western Main Line runs through the south at Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester and the terminus at Weymouth.[68] Additionally, the Heart of Wessex Line runs from Weymouth to Bristol. Dorset is one of only four non metropolitan counties in England not to have a single motorway. The A303, A31 and A35 trunk roads run through the county. The only passenger airport in the county is Bournemouth International Airport, but there are two passenger sea ports, at Poole and Weymouth. There are no major trunk routes to the North.

Despite these disadvantages, a flourishing bus service has been built up in the last fifteen years taking advantage of central and local government grants. To compensate for the missing rail link west of Dorchester one service bus runs regularly along the southerly A35 from Weymouth to Axminster. The Jurassic Coast service provides through travel from Poole to Exeter, exploiting a popular tourist route. Other routes connect towns in Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The number of services available to rural towns and villages has also increased over recent years.

Telecommunications company BT is to install a line giving "super-fast broadband connection" through Dorset, to provide for the increased demand during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. A campaign for the connection to remain after the Olympic Games began after the announcement, but BT has said it does not want to speculate so early.[69]

Education

Responsibility for education in Dorset is divided between three local authorities: Bournemouth and Poole unitary authorities and Dorset County Council, which covers the rest of the county. The county of Dorset has a comprehensive education system, primarily based on First, Middle and Upper schools, with transfer between schools at age 9 and 13. This system has allowed the predominantly rural county to provide early years education close to home, and to minimise transport requirements for older students. As school populations have fallen in parts of the county, however, the authority has begun to reintroduce a primary/secondary system with transfer at age 11, particularly in the more urban areas such as in Blandford, which has been two-tier since September 2005. There are 19 state and 8 independent upper or secondary schools in Dorset, with year sizes in the state schools of around 200.

Bournemouth has a selective system, with 10 state and 2 independent secondary schools, with transfer at age 11. Poole also has a selective system, with 8 state and 2 independent secondary schools, but primarily based on a Middle School system, transferring at age 8 and 12. Both councils have two single-sex selective grammar schools. Dorset has further education colleges in Bournemouth and Poole, and in Dorchester and Weymouth. Bournemouth University is Dorset's only university-level institution and the county is home to a number of prestigious independent schools such as Port Regis, Bryanston, Knighton House, Canford, Bournemouth Collegiate, Sherborne School, St Mary's Shaftesbury and Clayesmore.

Dorchester uses a three school system with Thomas Hardy school serving years nine to twelve. There have been a number of complaints from some residents of Dorchester whose children have not been given a place in the school whilst children who live in the Weymouth area have been given places.

See also

References and notes

Notes

  1. ^ "The Mayor Making Ceremony". Dorchester Town Council. http://www.dorchester-tc.gov.uk/About+Us/Civic+History/The+Mayoralty/The+Mayor+Making+Ceremony. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Thomas Hardy". Dorset County Museum. http://www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/thomashardy.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  3. ^ Cullingford (p.13)
  4. ^ Cullingford (p.16)
  5. ^ Cullingford (p.18)
  6. ^ "Vespasian (9 AD - 79 AD)". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/vespasian.shtml. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  7. ^ Cullingford (p.22-23)
  8. ^ "Portland, an Illustrated History"; Stuart Morris ISBN 0 946159 34 3
  9. ^ Cullingford (p.26)
  10. ^ Cullingford (p.41-43)
  11. ^ Cullingford (p.46-47)
  12. ^ Cullingford (p.43)
  13. ^ Cullingford (p.68)
  14. ^ Cullingford (p.71)
  15. ^ Cullingford (p.86)
  16. ^ Cullingford (p.114-116)
  17. ^ a b "Jurassic coast is world wonder". BBC News. 2001-12-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1708397.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  18. ^ "Dorset". Natural England. 2007. http://www.countryside.gov.uk/LAR/Landscape/DL/aonbs/aonb_dorset2.asp. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  19. ^ a b "Length of coastline and coastal designations". Dorset County Council. 2007. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=332789. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  20. ^ "Nature Conservation Designations - SSSIs". Dorset County Council. 2007. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=332782. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  21. ^ "Mean Temperature Winter Average". Met Office. 2001. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/tmean/16.gif. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  22. ^ "Maximum Temperature Summer Average". Met Office. 2001. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/tmax/14.gif. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  23. ^ "Mean Temperature Annual Average". Met Office. 2001. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/tmean/17.gif. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  24. ^ "Sunshine Duration Annual Average". Met Office. 2001. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/ss/17.gif. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  25. ^ "Rainfall Amount Annual Average". Met Office. 2001. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/rr/17.gif. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  26. ^ "Current Population – Dorset For You". Dorset County Counci. 2007. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=344105. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  27. ^ "Religion". Dorset County Council. 2007. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=325887. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  28. ^ a b c "Keyfacts on Dorset - general". Dorset County Council. 2007. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=333003. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  29. ^ "2001 Census". Office for National Statistics. 2001. Archived from the original on 2006-05-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20060523161843/http://www1.dorsetcc.gov.uk/LIVING/FACTS/Census2001.nsf. Retrieved 2005-04-22. 
  30. ^ "Dorset Count Council Facts & Figures". Dorset County Council. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-05-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20060523161855/http://www1.dorsetcc.gov.uk/Living/Facts/DorsetDataOnLine.nsf/-/A48DF589F0FD530E0025678B005CBBE3?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2005-04-22. 
  31. ^ A Vision of Britain through time, Dorset Modern (post 1974) County: Total Population, http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_page.jsp?data_theme=T_POP&data_cube=N_TOT_POP&u_id=10104210&c_id=10001043&add=N, retrieved 2010-01-10 
  32. ^ "County Hall". Dorset County Council. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=347782. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  33. ^ "2009 Dorset County Council election results". Dorset Council election, 2009. Dorset County Council. 2009-06-05. http://maps.dorsetforyou.com/election/. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  34. ^ "A print-out-and-keep guide to election night". Guardian News and Media Limited. 2005. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/election/story/0,15803,1475000,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  35. ^ "Channel 4 -Election 2005". Channel 4. 2005. http://www.channel4.com/news/microsites/E/election2005_blogs/dobson_blog.html. Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  36. ^ "Mid Dorset and North Poole - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/middorsetandnorthpoole. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  37. ^ "Dorset West - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/dorsetwest. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  38. ^ "Christchurch - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/Christchurch. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  39. ^ "North Dorset - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/northdorset. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  40. ^ "Bournemouth East - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/bournemoutheast. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  41. ^ "Bournemouth West - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/bournemouthwest. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  42. ^ "Poole - Election 2005". UK Polling Report. 2005. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/guide/seat-profiles/poole. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  43. ^ "UK Office of the European Parliament". UK Office of the European Parliament. 2006. http://www.europarl.org.uk/uk_meps/MembersMain.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  44. ^ "Regional Gross Value Added (pp.240–253)" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. 2003. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/RegionalGVA.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  45. ^ "Trust Profile" (PDF). West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust. 2005. http://www.dch.org.uk/about/trust-profile.html. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  46. ^ "Volume and value of tourism, 1993-2006". Dorset County Council. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=390319. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  47. ^ "UK Tourism Lowest for 7 years". The Institute of Commercial Management. http://news.icm.ac.uk/business/uk-tourism-lowest-for-7-years/2726/. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  48. ^ "Weymouth and Portland". Harbour Guides. http://www.harbourguides.com/harbours.php/Weymouth_and_Portland. Retrieved 2009-08-10. "...some of the best sailing waters in Northern Europe has led to the town [Weymouth] being chosen, along with it’s neighbouring town Portland to be the sailing venue for the 2012 Olympic Games." 
  49. ^ a b "Official opening of world class London 2012 sailing venue". London Development Agency (LDA). http://www.lda.gov.uk/server.php?show=ConWebDoc.1133. Retrieved 2009-08-10. "Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour are widely recognised as the finest small boat sailing waters in Northern Europe." 
  50. ^ "2012 work completed at WPNSA". Royal Yachting Association. 2009. http://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/news/Pages/2012sailingvenueofficially.aspx. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  51. ^ "Sailing rivals use Olympic venue". BBC News. 2009-08-10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/8193246.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  52. ^ "First 2012 Olympic venue unveiled". BBC News. 2008-11-28. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7753734.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  53. ^ "Orchestra". Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. http://www.bsolive.com/orchestra. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  54. ^ "Dorset & Wilts RFU (CB)". RFU. http://clubs.rfu.com/Clubs/portals/dw/. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  55. ^ "Water Sports and Water Activities in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset UK". Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. http://www.visitweymouth.co.uk/index.php?resource=22. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  56. ^ "Poole Tourism Things To Do". Poole Tourism. http://www.pooletourism.com/go.php?structureID=thingstodo&ref=&category=C4A36677CE51A1&x=29&y=11. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  57. ^ Blamires pp.112–114.
  58. ^ Blamires p.88.
  59. ^ Blamires p.225.
  60. ^ Drabble, Margaret (12 August 2006), The English degenerate, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/aug/12/featuresreviews.guardianreview14, retrieved 2009-08-11 
  61. ^ "Dorset Celebrities". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2004. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dorset/content/articles/2004/10/13/celebrities_feature.shtml. Retrieved 2004-10-13. 
  62. ^ "...back of the ’net!". Bournemouth Daily Echo. 2009. http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/search/4201762.___back_of_the____net_/. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  63. ^ "Island on the market for £2.5 million". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2005-04-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/dorset/4440107.stm. Retrieved 2005-04-13. 
  64. ^ "Dorset". Microsoft Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. http://www.webcitation.org/5kwbPwKHc. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  65. ^ "200 years of the Census in Dorset" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. 2001. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/bicentenary/pdfs/dorset.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  66. ^ "Poundbury". The Duchy of Cornwall. http://www.duchyofcornwall.org/designanddevelopment_poundbury.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-10. "Poundbury is expected to be fully completed by 2025" 
  67. ^ "Route 4 Wessex Routes". Network Rail. 2008. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/StrategicBusinessPlan/RoutePlans/2008/Route%204%20-%20Wessex%20Routes.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  68. ^ "Route 3 South West Main Line". Network Rail. 2008. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/documents/3102_Route%203%20South%20West%20Main%20Line.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  69. ^ "Appeal to keep Olympic broadband". BBC News. 2009-09-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/8270918.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 

References

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Dorset [1] is a county on the south coast of England, in the West Country.

Map of Dorset
Map of Dorset

Understand

Dorset is mostly rural, with a few large towns and many small villages. The county has a variety of landscapes, from steep chalk hills and wide clay valleys full of small dairy farms to the 50 mile Jurassic Coast world heritage site, popular with tourists and important to science.

Dorset has notable lesbian and gay activity in Bournemouth and Weymouth. Other towns have small but developing gay communities. Bournemouth has an annual Pride event. Information on the gay community in Dorset is collated online at www.gaydorset.com.

Get in

By plane

The only major airport in Dorset is Bournemouth International Airport, which does flights to many cities in Europe. Bristol airport, 50 miles to the north, has a wider selection, including New York. Southampton airport, 20 miles to the east, has a good selection of European destinations also. London is just over 100 miles east.

By train

Dorchester, Poole, Bournemouth, Weymouth and on a separate line Sherborne and Gillingham are connected directly to London, approximately 2 hours. Dorchester, Weymouth and Sherbourne are connected to Bristol and Bath, about 1 1/2 hours away.

By car

The A303 is the main route from London into the north of the county (and has Stonehenge half-way). The south of the county is connected to London by the M3 and M27, and to the Channel Tunnel by the M27 and A27. Both routes carry on into Devon and Cornwall. The A36 and A37 connect to Bath and Bristol.

The A35 between Dorchester and Bridport has spectacular views over the local countryside, as too does the coastal road (B3157) between Weymouth and Bridport. Both are probably most dramatic at sunset (driving towards Bridport) but are amazing at any time.

By boat

There are ferries from Jersey, Guernsey, Cherbourg, France, to Poole and Weymouth run by Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries.

Get around

By bus

Much of Dorset is very rural, and though there are many bus routes, many do not have regular and often services, or may only run on market and pension days. The biggest bus company is called Wilts & Dorset. They run services to most of the major towns. Their main office is at Poole Bus Station, with satellite offices in some of the larger towns.

  • Shaftesbury[2] - charming town in central Dorset
  • Corfe Castle [3] - a National Trust site, an impressive ruined Norman castle
  • The Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon[4], a World Heritage site
  • Poole Harbour - the second largest natural harbour in the world (second only to Sydney)
  • Brownsea Island[5] near Poole - a National Trust site, famous for its large population of red squirrels, and as the birthplace of the Scout Movement
  • The Great Dorset Steam Fair[6] near Blandford Forum - 600 acres of steam engines attended by over 200,000 visitors for a week in August/September each year. During the fair, the camping site becomes the largest community in the county!
  • The Cerne Abbas[7] Giant - a giant figure carved into the side of a hill by removing turf to expose white chalk
  • The Isle of Portland and Portland Bill
  • Wimborne Minster[8] - a big church in a small town
  • Studland Beach[9] - a popular beach and beauty spot
  • Bovington Tank Museum a very interesting tank museum.
  • Swanage Steam Railway, Swanage, Dorset, England (Park at Norden Park and Ride station), [10]. daily April to October. Ride in authentic heritage carriages for 6 miles from Corfe Castle to the seaside resort of Swanage behind an original steam locomotive £9.  edit

Eat

Dorset has a number of local specialities including Apple Cake, Cream Teas and Blue Vinney Cheese.

Some of the best local food comes from tea shops, cafes, fish and chip shops and pubs, Not all pubs serve food all of the time and the quality varies considerably.

If you prefer international or exotic flavours the towns of Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth will provide you with a good choice.

Drink

There are many breweries in Dorset. Hall & Woodhouse of Blandford are the largest brewing Badger Best Bitter, Tanglefoot and a variety of flavoured beers. Palmers of Bridport are the biggest brewers in the West of the County. Each of these breweries has a large number of tied pubs within the county. Other local beers often found in Dorset pubs come from Ringwood Brewery, Fullers, Marstons and Morland along with the well known international lagers.

It's possible to find locally made cider and scrumpy in some of the rural areas.

There is a vineyard at Horton north of Wimborne, but wine production in the county is low volume at best.

Get out

Devon lies to the west, Somerset and Wiltshire to the north, and Hampshire is to the east.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Dorsetshire article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

DORSETSHIRE (Dorset), a south-western county of England, bounded N.E. by Wiltshire, E. by Hampshire, S. by the English Channel, W. by Devonshire and N.W. by Somersetshire. The area is 987.9 sq. m. The surface is for the most part broken. A line of hills or downs, forming part of the system to which the general name of the Western Downs is applied, enters the county in the north-east near Shaftesbury, and strikes across it in a direction generally W. by S., leaving it towards Axminster and Crewkerne in Devonshire. East of Beaminster in the south-west another line, the Purbeck Downs, branches S.E. to the coast,which it follows as far as the district called the Isle of Purbeck in the south-east of the county. Both these ranges occasionally exceed a height of 900 ft. Of the principal rivers and streams, the Stour rises just outside the county in Wiltshire, and flows with a general south-easterly course to join the Hampshire Avon close to its mouth. It receives the Cale, Lidden and other streams in its upper course, and breaches the central hills in its middle course between Sturminster Newton and Blandford. The Lidden and Cale are the chief streams of the well-watered and fertile district known as the Vale of Blackmore. The small river Piddle or Trent and the larger Frome, rising in the central hills, traverse a plain tract of open country between the central and southern ranges, and almost unite their mouths in Poole Harbour. In the northwest the Yeo, collecting many feeders, flows northward to join the Parret and so sends its waters to the Bristol Channel. The Char, the Brit and the Bride, with their feeders, water many picturesque short valleys in the south-east. The coast is always beautiful, and in some parts magnificent. In the east it is broken by the irregular, lake-like inlet of Poole Harbour, pleasantly diversified with low islands, shallow, and at low tide largely drained. South of this a bold foreland, the termination of the southern hills (here called Ballard Down) divides Studland Bay from Swanage Bay, after which the coast line turns abruptly westward round Durlston Head. The peninsula thus formed with Poole Harbour on the north is known as the Isle of Purbeck, an oblong projection measuring Io m. by 7. St Albans or Aldhelms Head is the next salient feature, after which the fine cliffs are indented with many little bays, of which the most noteworthy is the almost landlocked Lulworth Cove. The coast then turns southward to embrace Weymouth Bay and Portland Roads, where a harbour of refuge with massive breakwaters is protected to the south by the Isle of Portland. The isle is connected with the mainland by Chesil Bank, a remarkable beach of shingle. After this the coast is less broken than before and continues highly picturesque as far as the confines of the county near Lyme Regis. This small town, with Charmouth, Bridport, Weymouth, Lulworth Cove and Swanage, are in considerable favour as watering-places.

Table of contents

Geology

Occupying as it does the central and most elevated part of the county, the Chalk is the most prominent geological formation in Dorsetshire. It sweeps in a south-westerly direction, as a belt of high ground about 12 m. in width, from Cranborne Chase, through Blandford, Milton Abbas and Frampton to Dorchester; westward it reaches a point just north of Beaminster. From about Dorchester the Chalk outcrop narrows and turns south-eastward by Portisham, Bincombe, to West Lulworth, thence the crop proceeds eastward as the ridge of the Purbeck Hills, and finally runs out to sea as the headland between Studland and Swanage Bays.

Upon the Chalk in the eastern part of the county are the Eocene beds of the Hampshire Basin. These are fringed by the Reading Beds and London Clay, which occur as a narrow belt from Cranborne through Wimborne Minster, near Bere Regis and Piddletown; here the crop swings round south-eastward through West Knighton, Winfrith and Lulworth, and thence along the northern side of the Purbeck Hills to Studland. Most of the remaining Eocene area is occupied by the sands, gravel and clay of the Bagshot series. The Agglestone Rock near Studland is a hard mass of the Bagshot formation; certain clays in the same series in the Wareham district have a world-wide reputation for pottery purposes; since they are exported from Poole Harbour they are often known as "Poole Clay." From beneath the Chalk the Selbornian or Gault and Upper Greensand crops out as a narrow, irregular band. The Gault clay is only distinguishable in the northern and southern districts. Here and there the Greensand forms prominent hills, as that on which the town of Shaftesbury stands. The Upper Greensand appears again as outliers farther west, forming the high ground above Lyme Regis, Golden Cap, and Pillesden and Lewesden Pens. The Lower Greensand crops out on the south side of the Purbeck Hills and may be seen at Punfield Cove and Worbarrow Bay, but this formation thins out towards the west. By the action of the agencies of denudation upon the faulted anticline of the Isle of Purbeck, the Wealden beds are brought to light in the vale between Lulworth and Swanage; a similar cause has accounted for their appearance at East Chaldon. South of the strip of Weald Clay is an elevated plateau consisting of Purbeck Beds which rest upon Portland Stone and Portland Sand. Cropping out from beneath the Portland beds is the Kimmeridge Clay with so-called "Coal" bands, which forms the lower platform near the village of that name.

The Middle Purbeck building stone and Upper Purbeck Paludina marble have been extensively quarried in the Isle of Purbeck. An interesting feature in the Lower Purbeck is the "Dirt bed," the remains of a Jurassic forest, which may be seen near Mupe Bay and on the Isle of Portland, where both the Purbeck and Portland formations are well exposed, the latter yielding the well-known freestones. In the north-west of the county the Kimmeridge Clay crops in a N.-S. direction from the neighbourhood of Gillingham by Woolland to near Buckland Newton; in the south, a strip runs E. and W. between Abbotsbury, Upway and Osmington Mill. Next in order come the Corallian Beds and Oxford Clay which follow the line of the Kimmeridge Clay, that is, they run from the north to the southwest except in the neighbourhood of Abbotsbury and Weymouth, where these beds are striking east and west.

Below the Oxford Clay is the Cornbrash, which may be seen near Redipole, Stalbridge and Stourton; then follows the Forest Marble, which usually forms a strong escarpment over the Fuller's Earth beneath - at Thornford the Fuller's Earth rock is quarried. Next comes the Inferior Oolite, quarried near Sherborne and Beaminster; the outcrop runs on to the coast at Bridport. Beneath the Oolites are the Midford sands, which are well exposed in the cliff between Bridport and Burton Brandstock. Except where the Greensand outliers occur, the south-western part of the county is occupied by Lower and Middle Lias beds. These are clays and marls in the upper portions and limestones below. Rhaetic beds, the so-called "White Lias," are exposed in Pinhay Bay.

Many of the formations in Dorsetshire are highly fossiliferous, notably the Lias of Lyme Regis, whence Ichthyosaurus and other large reptiles have been obtained; remains of the Iguanodon have been taken from the Wealden beds of the Isle of Purbeck; the Kimmeridge Clay, Inferior Oolite, Forest Marble and Fuller's Earth are all fossil-bearing rocks. The coast exhibits geological sections of extreme interest and variety; the vertical and highly inclined strata of the Purbeck anticline are well exhibited at Gad Cliff or near Ballard Point; at the latter place the fractured fold is seen to pass into an "overthrust fault." Climate and Agriculture. - The air of Dorsetshire is remarkably mild, and in some of the more sheltered spots on the coast semitropical plants are found to flourish. The district of the clays obtains for the county the somewhat exaggerated title of the "garden of England," though the rich Vale of Blackmore and the luxuriant pastures and orchards in the west may support the name. Yet Dorsetshire is not generally a well-wooded county, though much fine timber appears in the richer soils, in some of the sheltered valleys of the chalk district, and more especially upon the Greensand. About three-fourths of the total area is under cultivation, and of this nearly five-eighths is in permanent pasture, while there are in addition about 26,000 acres of hill pasturage; the chalk downs being celebrated of old as sheepwalks. Wheat, barley and oats are grown about equally. Turnips occupy nearly three-fourths of the average under green crops. Sheep are largely kept, though in decreasing numbers. The old horned breed of Dorsetshire were well known, but Southdowns or Hampshires are now frequently preferred. Devons, shorthorns and Herefords are the most common breeds of cattle. Dairy farming is an important industry.

Other Industries

The quarries of Isles of Portland and Purbeck are important. The first supplies a white freestone employed for many of the finest buildings in London and elsewhere. Purbeck marble is famous through its frequent use by the architects of many of the most famous Gothic churches in England. A valuable product of Purbeck is a white pipeclay, largely applied to the manufacture of china, for which purpose it is exported to the Potteries of Staffordshire. Industries, beyond those of agriculture and quarrying, are slight, though some shipbuilding is carried on at Poole, and paper is made at several towns. Other small manufactures are those of flax and hemp in the neighbourhood of Bridport and Beaminster, of bricks, tiles and pottery in the Poole district, and of nets (braiding, as the industry is called) in some of the villages. There are silk-mills at Sherborne and elsewhere. There are numerous fishing stations along the coast, the fishing being mostly coastal. There are oyster beds in Poole Harbour. The chief ports are Poole, Weymouth, Swanage, Bridport, and Lyme Regis. The harbour of refuge at Portland, under the Admiralty, is an important naval station, and is fortified.

Communications

The main line of the London & South Western railway serves Gillingham and Sherborne in the north of the county. Branches of this system serve Wimborne, Poole, Swanage, Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland. The two last towns, with Bridport, are served by the Great Western railway; the Somerset & Dorset line (Midland and South Western joint) follows the Stour valley by Blandford and Wimborne; and Lyme Regis is the terminus of a light railway from Axminster on the South Western line.

Population and Administration

The area of the ancient county is 632,270 acres, with a population in 1891 of 194,517, and in 1901 of 202,936. The area of the administrative county is 62 5,57 8 acres. The county contains 35 hundreds. It is divided into northern, eastern, southern and western parliamentary divisions, each returning one member. In contains the following municipal boroughs - Blandford Forum (pop. 3649), Bridport (5710), Dorchester, the county town (9458), Lyme Regis (2095), Poole (19,463), Shaftesbury (2027), Wareham (2003), Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (19,831). The following are other urban districts - Portland (15,199), Sherborne (5760), Swanage (3408), Wimborne Minster (3696). Dorsetshire is in the western circuit, and assizes are held at Dorchester. It has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into nine petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Bridport, Dorchester, Lyme Regis, Poole, and Weymouth and Melcombe Regis have separate commissions of the peace, and the borough of Poole has in addition a separate court of quarter sessions. There are 289 civil parishes. The ancient county, which is almost entirely in the diocese of Salisbury, contains 256 ecclesiastical parishes or districts wholly or in part.

History

The kingdom of Wessex originated with the settlement of Cerdic and his followers in Hampshire in 495, and at some time before the beginning of the 8th century the tide of conquest and colonization spread beyond the Frome and Kennet valleys and swept over the district which is now Dorsetshire. In 705 the West Saxon see was transferred to Sherborne, and the numerous foundations of religious houses which followed did much to further the social and industrial development of the county; though the wild and uncivilized state in which the county yet lay may be conjectured from the names of the hundreds and of their meeting-places, at barrows, boulders and vales. In 787 the Danes landed at Portland, and in 833 they arrived at Charmouth with thirty-five ships and fought with Ecgbert. The shire is first mentioned by name in the Saxon Chronicle in 845, when the Danes were completely routed at the mouth of the Parret by the men of Dorsetshire under Osric the ealdorman. In 876 the invaders captured Wareham, but were driven out next year by Alfred, and 120 of their ships were wrecked at Swanage. During the two following centuries Dorset was constantly ravaged by the Danes, and in 1015 Canute came on a plundering expedition to the mouth of the Frome. Several of the West Saxon kings resided in Dorsetshire, and IEthelbald and IEthelbert were buried at Sherborne, and Æthelred at Wimborne. In the reign of Canute Wareham was the shire town; it was a thriving seaport, with a house for the king when he came there on his hunting expeditions, a dwelling for the shire-reeve and accommodation for the leading thegns of the shire. At the time of the Conquest Dorset formed part of Harold's earldom, and the resistance which it opposed to the Conqueror was punished by a merciless harrying, in which Dorchester, Wareham and Shaftesbury were much devastated, and Bridport utterly ruined.

No Englishman retained estates of any importance after the Conquest, and at the time of the Survey the bulk of the land, with the exception of the forty-six manors held by the king, was in the hands of religious houses, the abbeys of Cerne, Milton and Shaftesbury being the most wealthy. There were 272 mills in the county at the time of the Survey, and nearly eighty men were employed in working salt along the coast. Mints existed at Shaftesbury, Wareham, Dorchester and Bridport, the three former having been founded by Æthelstan. The forests of Dorsetshire were favourite hunting-grounds of the Norman kings, and King John in particular paid frequent visits to the county.

No precise date can be assigned for the establishment of the shire system in Wessex, but in the time of Ecgbert the kingdom was divided into definite pagi, each under an ealdorman, which no doubt represented the later shires. The Inquisitio Geldi, drawn up two years before the Domesday Survey, gives the names of the 39 pre-Conquest hundreds of Dorset. The 33 hundreds and 21 liberties of the present day retain some of the original names, but the boundaries have suffered much alteration. The 8000 acres of Stockland and Dalwood reckoned in the Dorset Domesday are now annexed to Devon, and the manor of Holwell now included in Dorset was reckoned with Somerset until the 19th century. Until the reign of Elizabeth Dorset and Somerset were united under one sheriff.

Af ter the transference of the West Saxon see from Sherborne to Sarum in 1075, Dorset remained part of that diocese until 1542, when it was included in the newly formed diocese of Bristol. The archdeaconry was coextensive with the shire, and was divided into five rural deaneries at least as early as 1291.

The vast power and wealth monopolized by the Church in Dorsetshire tended to check the rise of any great county families. The representatives of the families of Mohun, Brewer and Arundel held large estates after the Conquest, and William Mohun was created earl of Dorset by the empress Maud. The families of Clavel, Lovell, Maundeville, Mautravers, Peverel and St Lo also came over with the Conqueror and figure prominently in the early annals of the county.

Dorsetshire took no active part in the struggles of the Norman and Plantagenet period. In 1627 the county refused to send men to La Rochelle, and was reproved for its lack of zeal in the service of the state. On the outbreak of the Civil War of the 17th century the general feeling was in favour of the king, and after a series of royalist successes in 1643 Lyme Regis and Poole were the only garrisons in the county left to the parliament. By the next year however, the parliament had gained the whole county with the exception of Sherborne and the Isle of Portland. The general aversion of the Dorsetshire people to warlike pursuits is demonstrated at this period by the rise of the "clubmen," so called from their appearance without pikes or fire-arms at the county musters, whose object was peace at all costs, and who punished members of either party discovered in the act of plundering.

In the 14th century Dorsetshire produced large quantities of wheat and wool, and had a prosperous clothing trade. In 1626 the county was severely visited by the plague, and from this date the clothing industry began to decline. The hundred of Pimperne produced large quantities of saltpetre in the 17th century, and the serge manufacture was introduced about this time. Portland freestone was first brought into use in the reign of James I., when it was employed for the new banqueting house at Whitehall, and after the Great Fire it was extensively used by Sir Christopher Wren. In the 18th century Blandford, Sherborne and Lyme Regis were famous for their lace, but the industry has now declined.

The county returned two members to parliament in 1290, and as the chief towns acquired representation the number was increased, until in 1572 the county and nine boroughs returned a total of twenty members. Under the Reform Act of 1832 the county returned three members, and Corfe Castle was disfranchised. By the Representation of the People Act of 1868 Lyme Regis was disfranchised, and by the Redistribution Act of 1885 the remaining boroughs were disfranchised.

Antiquities

Remains of medieval castles are inconsiderable, with the notable exception of Corfe Castle and the picturesque ruins of Sherborne Castle, both destroyed after the Civil War of the 17th century. The three finest churches in the county are the abbey church of Sherborne, Wimborne Minster and Milton Abbey church, a Decorated and Perpendicular structure erected on the site of a Norman church which was burnt. It has transepts, chancel and central tower, but the nave was not built. This was a Benedictine foundation of the 10th century, and the refectory of the 15th century is incorporated in the mansion built in 1772. At Ford Abbey part of the buildings of a Cistercian house are similarly incorporated. There are lesser monastic remains at Abbotsbury, Cerne and Bindon. The parish churches of Dorsetshire are not especially noteworthy as a whole, but those at Cerne Abbas and Beaminster are fine examples of the Perpendicular style, which is the most common in the county. A little good Norman work remains, as in the churches of Bere Regis and Piddletrenthide, but both these were reconstructed in the Perpendicular period; Bere Regis church having a superb timber roof of that period.

The dialect of the county, perfectly distinguishable from those of Wiltshire and Somersetshire, yet bearing many common marks of Saxon origin, is admirably illustrated in some of the poems of William Barnes. Many towns, villages and localities are readily to be recognized from their descriptions in the "Wessex" novels of Thomas Hardy.

A curious ancient Survey of Dorsetshire was written by the Rev. Mr Coker, about the middle of the 17th century, and published from his MS. (London, 1732). See also J. Hutchins, History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset (London, 1774); 2nd ed. by R. Gough and E. B. Nichols (1796-1815); 3rd ed. by W. Shipp and J. W. Hodson (1861-1873); C. Warne, Ancient Dorset (London, 1865); R. W. Eyton, A Key to Domesday, exemplified by an analysis and digest of the Dorset Survey (London, 1878); C. H. Mayo, Bibliotheca Dorsetiensis (London, 1885); W. Barnes, Glossary of Dorset Dialect (Dorchester, 1886); H. J. Maule, Old Dorset (London, 1893); Victoria County History, Dorsetshire.


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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Dorset

Plural
-

Dorset

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  1. A maritime county of England bounded by Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Devon and the English Channel.

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Dorset

<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center; background: white;">Motto: Who's a'feard</td></tr>

File:EnglandDorset.png
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county

<tr><th>Origin</th><td>Historic</td></tr>

Region South West England
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 20th
2,653 km² (1,024.3 sq mi)
Ranked 21st
2,542 km² (981.5 sq mi)

<tr><th>Admin HQ</th><td class="label">Dorchester</td></tr><tr><th>ISO 3166-2</th><td>GB-DOR</td></tr>

ONS code 19
NUTS 3 UKK22
Demographics
Population
- Total (2005)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 32nd Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
701,100
265/km² (686.3/sq mi)
Ranked 32nd Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
403,000
Ethnicity 98.1% White
Politics
File:Arms-dorset.jpg
Dorset County Council
http://www.dorsetforyou.com/

<tr><th>Executive</th><td>Conservative </td></tr>

Members of Parliament
Districts
File:Dorset districts.png
  1. Weymouth and Portland
  2. West Dorset
  3. North Dorset
  4. Purbeck
  5. East Dorset
  6. Christchurch
  7. Bournemouth (Unitary)
  8. Poole (Unitary)

Neighbouring counties are (A–D): Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire

Dorset (pronounced IPA: /ˈdɔːsɪt/) (sometimes in the past called Dorsetshire), is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester, situated in the south of the county at 50°43′00″N, 02°26′00″W. Between its extreme points Dorset measures 80 kilometres (50 mi) from east to west and 64 km (40 mi) north to south, and has an area of 2,652 square kilometres (1,024 sq mi). Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. Around half of Dorset's population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation. The rest of the county is largely rural with a relatively low population density. Dorset's motto is 'Who's Afear'd'.

Dorset is famous for its coastline, the Jurassic Coast, which features landforms such as Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door, as well as the holiday resorts of Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth, Swanage, and Lyme Regis. Dorset is the setting of the novels of Thomas Hardy, who was born near Dorchester. The county has a long history of human settlement and some notable archaeology, including the hill forts of Maiden Castle and Hod Hill.

Contents

History

Main article: History of Dorset

The earliest recorded use of the name was in AD 940 as Dorseteschire, meaning the dwellers (saete) of 'Dornuuarana' (Dorchester), the place of fisticuffs (Welsh: 'Dwrn', 'fist'; and 'gwarae', 'play').[1]

The first known settlement of Dorset was by Mesolithic hunters, from around 8000 BC. Their populations were small and concentrated along the coast in the Isle of Purbeck, Weymouth and Chesil Beach and along the Stour valley. These populations used tools and fire to clear these areas of some of the native Oak forest. Dorset's high chalk hills have provided a location for defensive settlements for millennia, there are Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds on almost every chalk hill in the county, and a number of Iron Age hill forts, the most famous being Maiden Castle. The chalk downs would have been deforested in these times, making way for farmland.

Dorset has many notable Roman artefacts, particularly around the Roman town Dorchester, where Maiden Castle was captured from the Celtic Durotriges by Vespasian in 54 AD, early in the Roman occupation. Roman roads radiated from Dorchester, following the tops of the chalk ridges to the many small Roman villages around the county. In the Roman era, settlements moved from the hill tops to the valleys, and the hilltops had been abandoned by the fourth century. A large defensive ditch, Bokerley Dyke, delayed the Saxon conquest of Dorset from the north east for up to two hundred years. The Domesday Book documents many Saxon settlements corresponding to modern towns and villages, mostly in the valleys. There have been few changes to the parishes since the Domesday Book. Over the next few centuries the settlers established the pattern of farmland which prevailed into the nineteenth century, as well as many monasteries, which were important landowners and centres of power.

In the twelfth century civil war, Dorset was fortified with the construction of the defensive castles at Corfe Castle, Powerstock, Wareham and Shaftesbury, and the strengthening of the monasteries such as at Abbotsbury. In the seventeenth century English Civil War, Dorset had a number of royalist strongholds, such as Sherborne Castle and Corfe Castle, which were ruined by Parliamentarian forces in the war. In the intervening years, the county was used by the monarchy and nobility for hunting and the county still has a number of Deer Parks. Throughout the late Mediaeval times, the remaining hilltop settlements shrank further and disappeared. From the Tudor to Georgian periods, farms specialised and the monastic estates were broken up, leading to an increase in population and settlement size. During the industrial revolution, Dorset remained largely rural and still retains its agricultural economy. The Tolpuddle Martyrs lived in Dorset, and the farming economy of Dorset was central in the formation of the trade union movement.

Physical geography

Main article: Geology of Dorset

Most of Dorset's landscape falls into two categories, determined by the underlying geology. There are a number of large ridges of limestone downland, much of which have been cleared of the native forest and are mostly grassland and some arable agriculture. These limestone areas include a band of chalk which crosses the county from south-west to north-east incorporating Cranborne Chase, the Dorset Downs and Purbeck Hills. Between the areas of downland are large, wide clay vales (primarily Oxford Clay with some Weald Clay and London Clay) with wide flood plains. These vales are primarily used for dairy agriculture, dotted with small villages, farms and coppices. They include the Blackmore Vale (Stour valley) and Frome valley.

South-east Dorset, around Poole and Bournemouth, lies on very non-resistant Eocene clays (mainly London Clay and Gault Clay), sands and gravels. These thin soils support a heathland habitat which supports all seven native British reptile species. The River Frome estuary runs through this weak rock, and its many tributaries have carved out a wide estuary. At the mouth of the estuary sand spits have been deposited turning the estuary into Poole Harbour, one of several worldwide which claim to be the second largest natural harbour in the world (after Sydney Harbour, though Sydney's claim is disputed). The harbour is very shallow in places and contains a number of islands, notably Brownsea Island, famous for its Red Squirrel sanctuary and as the birthplace of the Scouting movement. The harbour, and the chalk and limestone hills of the Purbecks to the south, lie atop Britain's largest onshore oil field. The field, operated by BP from Wytch Farm, produces a high-quality oil and boasts the world's oldest continuously pumping well (Kimmeridge, since the early 1960s) and longest horizontal drill (8 km (5 mi)), ending underneath Bournemouth pier). The pottery produced by Poole Pottery from the local clays is famous for its quality.

File:Durdledoor.jpg Most of Dorset's coastline was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001 because of its geological landforms. The coast documents the entire Mesozoic era from Triassic to Cretaceous, and has yielded many important fossils, including the first complete Ichthyosaur and fossilised Jurassic trees. The coast also features examples of most notable coastal landforms, including a textbook example of cove (Lulworth Cove) and natural arch (Durdle Door). Jutting out into the English Channel is a limestone island, the Isle of Portland, connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach, a tombolo. One of the best ways to explore the Jurassic Coast is to follow the South West Coast Path National Trail that runs along it.

In the west of the county the chalk and clay of south-east England begins to give way to the marl and granite of neighbouring Devon. Until recently Pilsdon Pen at 277 metres (909 ft), was thought to be the highest hill in Dorset, but recent surveys have shown nearby Lewesdon Hill to be higher, at 279 metres (915 ft). Lewesdon is also a Marilyn.

The county has the highest proportion of conservation areas in England— including an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (44% of the whole county),[2] a World Heritage Site (114 km (71 mi)),[3] 'Heritage Coasts' (92 km (57 mi))[3] and 'Sites of Special Scientific interest' (19,945 hectares (Template:Convert/LonAonSoffNa)).[4] File:Lulworth Cove, Dorset-(Aerial).jpg

The climate of Dorset has warm summers and mild winters, being the third most southern county in the UK, but not westerly enough to be afflicted by the Atlantic storms that Cornwall and Devon experience. Dorset shares the greater winter warmth of the south-west (average 4.5 to 8.7 °C),[5] In coastal areas around Dorset it is rare to have frosts, and it almost never snows.

The south coast counties of Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent enjoy more sunshine than anywhere else in the United Kingdom, receiving 1541–1885 hours.[6] Average annual rainfall varies across the county—southern and eastern coastal areas receive as little as 741 mm per year, while the Dorset Downs receive between 1061 and 1290 mm per year; less than Devon and Cornwall to the west but more than counties to the east.[7]

Demographics

File:Poole.quay.750pix.jpg

Dorset has a population of 407,217, plus 165,370 in Bournemouth and 137,562 in Poole (total 710,149—mid-year estimates for 2006). The following statistics exclude Poole and Bournemouth, which are no longer part of the administrative county.

91.3% of Dorset's population were born in England and 95.2% were born in the United Kingdom. 98.8% are indigenous, an extreme example of the disproportionately small ethnic minority population in rural areas. 78% of the population are Christian and 13.7% are not religious.

Dorset has the second highest proportion of elderly people of any county in Britain, second only to East Sussex, 25.9% of the population are over 65 and 13.9% of the 16–74 age range are retired. The county has the lowest birth rate of the 34 English counties, at 9.6 births per 1000. It has the third highest mortality rate, behind East Sussex and Devon. In 1996 deaths exceeded births by 1,056, giving a natural population decline of 2.7 per 1000, however, in 1997 there were 7,200 migrants moving to Dorset and the Poole-Bournemouth conurbation, giving Dorset the second highest net population growth, behind Cambridgeshire, at 17.3%.[8]

Politics

Dorset County Council is based at County Hall in Dorchester. Following the local council elections in May 2005, 24 Conservative, 16 Liberal Democrat, four Labour and one independent councillor sit on the county council. All Labour councillors were elected in the built up area of Weymouth and Portland; rural areas elected Conservatives and Liberal Democrat councillors.

This pattern is repeated at the national level. South Dorset is represented in Parliament by Labour MP Jim Knight, though this constituency was Labour's smallest majority and was one of the most fiercely contested seats in the General Election of 2005.[9] In the event, the seat went against the national trend and Mr Knight's majority increased slightly on a swing from the Conservatives.[10] In all other Dorset constituencies, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are the most successful parties: Mid-Dorset and North Poole is represented by the Liberal Democrats, and West Dorset, Christchurch and North Dorset by the Conservatives.

The built up area of Poole and Bournemouth is divided into three constituencies, Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West and Poole, all of which are currently represented by Conservative MPs.

Economy and industry

File:Abbotsbury, Dorset - Tithe Barn.jpg

In 2003 the gross value added (GVA) for the county was £4,673 million, with an additional £4,705 million for Poole and Bournemouth.[11] 4% of GVA was produced by primary industry, 26% from secondary industry and 70% from tertiary industry. The average GVA for the 12 statistics regions of South West England was £6,257 million. Using 2004 population estimates, the GVA per person was £6,671 for Dorset, £15,683 for Poole and Bournemouth, £15,235 for the South West and £16,100 for the UK.

The principal industry in Dorset was once agriculture. It has not, however, been the largest employer for many decades as mechanisation has substantially reduced the number of workers required. Agriculture has become less profitable and the industry has declined further. Between 1995 and 2003 GVA for primary industry (largely agriculture with some fishing and quarrying) declined from £229 to 188 million—7.1% to 4.0% of the county's GVA. In 2002, 1,903 km2 (735 sq mi) of the county was in agricultural use, down from 1,986 km2 (767 sq mi) in 1989, although the figure has fluctuated somewhat. Cattle, the principal animal stock in the county, fell from 240,413 to 178,328 in the same period, the dairy herds falling from 102,589 to 73,476. Sheep and pig farming has declined similarly.

West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust employs around 2,500 multi-disciplinary staff; the majority at the 500-bed Dorset County Hospital which provides a turnover of £76 million.[12] This new hospital was a larger replacement for the now closed Dorchester Hospital.

One of Dorset's famous products is the Dorset Knob, a hard biscuit. It can be used as an accompaniment to cheese, especially the local Dorset cheese, Blue Vinney.

Tourism has grown as an industry in Dorset since the early 19th century. 4.2 million British tourists and 260,000 foreign tourists visited the county in 2002, spending a combined total of £768 million. Foreign tourism declined in 1999 (310,000, down from 410,000 in 1998), and again in 2002 (down from 320,000), the latter decline being blamed on the effects of the global economy and security.

Dorset has little manufacturing industry, at 14.6% of employment (compared to 18.8% for the UK), and is ranked 30th out the 34 non-metropolitan English counties. The gross domestic product for the county is 84% that of the national average.

Dorset will host the only Olympic event at the 2012 Summer Olympics held outside London – sailing – at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Portland Harbour. Weymouth and Portland's waters have been credited by the Royal Yachting Association as the best in Northern Europe.[13]

Culture

File:Dorset ca mh.jpeg
Cerne Abbas Manor House

As a largely rural county, Dorset has fewer major cultural institutions than larger or more densely populated areas. Major venues for concerts and theatre include Poole Borough Council's Lighthouse arts centre, Bournemouth's BIC and Pavilion Theatre, Wimborne's Tivoli Theatre, and the Pavilion theatre in Weymouth. Dorset's most famous cultural institution is perhaps the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1893 and now one of the country's most celebrated orchestras. Dorset is not especially famous in sport, though Football League One A.F.C. Bournemouth, Conference National Weymouth F.C., and minor county cricket club Dorset CCC play in the county. The county is notable for its watersports, however, which take advantage of the sheltered waters of Weymouth and Poole bays, and Poole and Portland Harbours.

Dorset is famed in literature for being the native county of author and poet Thomas Hardy, and many of the places he describes in his novels in the fictional Wessex are in Dorset. The National Trust owns Thomas Hardy's Cottage, in woodland east of Dorchester, and Max Gate, his former house in Dorchester. Several other writers have called Dorset home, including Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), who lived in Stalbridge for a time; Ian Fleming (James Bond), who boarded at Durnford School, poet William Barnes; Theodore Francis Powys; John le Carré, author of espionage novels; P.D. James (Children of Men); satirical novelist Thomas Love Peacock; John Fowles (The French Lieutenant's Woman), lived in Lyme Regis before he died in late 2005; John Cowper Powys, who set a number of his most famous novels in Dorset and Somerset; and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde while living in Bournemouth.

Dorset is also the birthplace of artist Sir James Thornhill, musicians P.J. Harvey and Robert Fripp, photographer Jane Bown, palaeontologist Mary Anning and archbishops John Morton and William Wake. Explorer Sir Walter Raleigh lived in Dorset for some of his life, while scientist and philosopher Robert Boyle lived in Stalbridge Manor for a time. Dorset is a popular home for celebrities. Those who have moved to or own second homes in Dorset include Madonna and Guy Ritchie, actor Martin Clunes, singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, Jonathan Ross, Oasis singer Noel Gallagher and footballer Jamie Redknapp.[14] Many of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's television programmes are filmed at his home, just outside of Bridport. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web lived in Colehill near Wimborne. Classical composer Muzio Clementi lived and worked near Blandford in Dorset.

Settlements and communications

Main articles: List of places in Dorset and Transport in Dorset

File:Gold Hill, Shaftsbury, Dorset, England.JPG File:Uk dor portharbour.JPG File:Weymouth Promenade.jpg

Dorset is largely rural with many small villages, few large towns, and no cities. The largest conurbation is the South East Dorset conurbation which consists of the seaside resort of Bournemouth, the historic port of Poole and the town of Christchurch plus many villages. Bournemouth was created in the Victorian era when sea bathing became popular. As an example of how affluent the area has become, Sandbanks in Poole was worthless land unwanted by farmers in the nineteenth century, but is said to be amongst the highest land values by area in the world.[15] Bournemouth and Christchurch were added to the county from Hampshire in the county boundary changes of 1974.

The other two major settlements in the county are Dorchester, (the county town), and Weymouth, one of the first tourist towns, frequented by George III, and still very popular today.

Blandford Forum, Sherborne, Gillingham, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton are historical market towns which serve the farms and villages of the Blackmore Vale (Hardy's Vale of the Little Dairies). Blandford is home to the Badger brewery of Hall and Woodhouse. Bridport, Lyme Regis, Wareham and Wimborne Minster are also market towns. Lyme Regis and Swanage are small coastal towns popular with tourists.

Still in construction on the western edge of Dorchester is the experimental new town of Poundbury, commissioned and co-designed by Prince Charles. The suburb is designed to integrate residential and retail buildings and counter the growth of dormitory towns and car-oriented development.

Dorset is connected to London by two main railway lines. The West of England Main Line runs through the north of the county at Gillingham and Sherborne. The South Western Main Line runs through the south at Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester and the terminus at Weymouth. Additionally, the Heart of Wessex Line runs from Weymouth to Bristol. Dorset is one of only four non metropolitan counties in England not to have a single motorway. The A303, A31 and A35 trunk roads run through the county. The only passenger airport in the county is Bournemouth International Airport, and there are two passenger sea ports, at Poole and Weymouth.

See also

References

  1. ^ Mapping The Dornsaete (Dorset) Domesday. www.gwp.enta.net (2005). Retrieved on 2005-04-22.
  2. ^ Dorset AONB. Natural England (2007). Retrieved on 2007-07-25.
  3. ^ a b Length of coastline and coastal designations. Dorset County Council (2007). Retrieved on 2007-07-25.
  4. ^ Nature Conservation Designations - SSSIs. Dorset County Council (2007). Retrieved on 2007-07-25.
  5. ^ {{cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/tmean/16.gif | title = Mean Temperature Winter Average | publisher = Met Office
  6. ^ Sunshine Duration Annual Average. Met Office (2001). Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
  7. ^ Rainfall Amount Annual Average. Met Office (2001). Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
  8. ^ {{cite web | year = 2001 | url = http://www1.dorsetcc.gov.uk/LIVING/FACTS/Census2001.nsf | title = 2001 Census | publisher = Office for National Statistics
  9. ^ A print-out-and-keep guide to election night. Guardian News and Media Limited (2005). Retrieved on 2007-07-03.
  10. ^ Channel 4 -Election 2005. Channel 4 (2005). Retrieved on 2006-11-12.
  11. ^ Regional Gross Value Added (pp.240–253) (PDF). Office for National Statistics (2003). Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
  12. ^ Trust Profile (PDF). West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust (2005). Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
  13. ^ 2012 Olympic Games sailing venue. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (2005). Retrieved on 2006-11-12.
  14. ^ {{cite web | year = 2004 | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/dorset/content/articles/2004/10/13/celebrities_feature.shtml | title = Dorset Celebrities | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation
  15. ^ {{cite web | year = 2005 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/dorset/4440107.stm | title = Island on the market for £2.5 million | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation

External links

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Simple English

Dorset is a county in south England which is by the sea. The biggest towns in it are Bournemouth and Poole. There are other smaller towns, some by the sea, like Weymouth, Swanage, West Bay, the Isle of Portland, Dorchester, Wareham, Lyme Regis, Blandford and Wool.

Dorset is next to Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. There is a lot of countryside in Dorset, so there are quite a few farmers. Other people work in offices, shops or the holiday business. There are not many factories or industry in Dorset. People come on holiday to Dorset because the countryside and sea is peaceful and pretty, and there are not many big towns and no cities at all. Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth, Swanage and Lyme Regis are quite famous seaside towns, where most holidaymakers go when they come to Dorset.


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