Sherborne shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||West Dorset|
|List of places: UK • England • Dorset|
40.8% of the population is retired. Sherborne is famous for its history, including its abbey, castles, manor house and private schools. The picturesque town is a popular, though relatively unknown, tourist town.
The town is served by Sherborne railway station.
The town was made the capital of Wessex, one of the seven Saxon kingdoms of England, and King Alfred's elder brothers King Ethelbert and King Ethelbald are buried in the abbey. In 705 the diocese was split between Sherborne and Winchester, and King Ine founded an Abbey for St Aldhelm, the first bishop of Sherborne. The Bishop's seat was moved to Old Sarum in 1075 and the church at Sherborne became a Benedictine Monastery. In the 15th century the church was deliberately burnt down during tensions between the town and the monastery, and was rebuilt between 1425 and 1504, though some of the Norman structure remains. In 1539 the monastery was bought by Sir John Horsey and became a conventional church. Sherborne was for many centuries the centre of a hundred of the same name.
In the 12th century Roger de Caen, Bishop of Salisbury and Chancellor of England, built a fortified palace in Sherborne. The palace was destroyed in 1645 by General Fairfax, and the ruins are owned by English Heritage.
Sherborne was also home to Captain Christopher Levett, a Yorkshire native who came to the West Country as His Majesty's Woodward of Somersetshire, and who remained in Sherborne as he turned to a career as a naval captain and early explorer of New England.
There has been a school in Sherborne since the time of King Alfred, who was educated there. The school was refounded in 1550 as King Edward's public school, using some of the old abbey buildings, though it is now known simply as Sherborne School.
The school remains one of the top fee-paying schools in Britain, boasts numerous successful alumni, including Alan Turing, Jeremy Irons, Chris Martin and John le Carré. Until 1992 there were also two Grammar Schools, Foster's School for boys and Lord Digby's School for girls. The tradition of education within the town was continued with the founding of Sherborne School For Girls (now known as Sherborne Girls) in 1895, another leading Independent School. Eminent past pupils of Sherborne Girls include soprano Emma Kirkby actress Maria Aitken, novelist Santa Montefiore, psychotherapist and founder of the charity Kids Company, Camilla Batmanghelidjh. More recently, the other senior schools established in Sherborne are The Gryphon School and the Sherborne International College (for children from overseas).
Other notable historical buildings in the town include the Almshouses of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, founded in their current form in 1438 and expanded in the Victorian Era in indistinguishable medieval style architecture. The conduit, Hospice of St Julian, and Lord Digby's school, now known as Sherborne House (designed by Benjamin Bastard) are also well preserved old buildings in the town.
Sherborne is a founding member of the Douzelage, a town twinning association of 23 towns across the European Union. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals.
Sherborne is a small town in England.
Sherborne  is currently celebrating winning a multitude of awards at the regional heat of Britain in Bloom 2007, including recognition as the best market town in the South West and receiving the prestigious overall gold award for the region. Take a leisurely stroll around the town to discover why!
Sherborne Abbey  has one of the finest examples in Britain of a fan vaulted ceiling.
Sherborne's old and new castles are definitely worth a visit. The impressive 'new' castle was built in 1594 by Sir Walter Raleigh, and on the opposite side of Sherborne Lake lie the ruins of the 'old' castle , destroyed in 1645 by a fierce siege. Also, take a look inside Sherborne Abbey  to see it's impressive fan-vaulted roof, and visit the nearby Fleet Air Arm Museum  with its comprehensive collection of naval aircraft.
Sherborne is an excellent place for a spot of retail therapy - the town's boutiques offer delightful and varied shopping, and its antique shops are full of fascinating finds. The ever-popular town markets  and Farmers' Markets  offer the perfect opportunity to purchase some tasty local produce and unique gifts.
Whether you prefer some heart-warming pub grub, elegant high teas, fine cuisine or simply a family-friendly dining experience, you can be sure that Sherborne will offer you many delicious local specialities to tempt your tastebuds! Visit http://www.westdorset.com/site/local-food-and-drink/eating-out for some mouthwatering suggestions of places to eat out, or contact Sherborne Tourist Information Centre  for some expert advice.
Whether you're looking for a self catering retreat, an elegant hotel, friendly bed and breakfast or guesthouse, a hospitable inn or a farm stay, Sherborne and the surrounding towns and villages of West Dorset are sure to meet your needs. Visit http://www.westdorset.com/site/where-to-stay for details of National Quality Assessed accommodation in West Dorset.
Sherborne TIC are currently celebrating winning South West Tourism's prestigious gold award for the best tourist information centre in the South West! The Tourism Excellence Awards, known as 'Tourism Oscars,' celebrate 'the best in the South West' and aim to promote and reward the very best in the tourism industry. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.westdorset.com/site/tourist-information-centres/sherborne for further information about Sherborne and the surrounding area.
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