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Old Photos of Dorchester

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

It is always interesting to look back at how things used to be. Viewing old photos of Dorchester allows us to see how the previous inhabitants of the town used to live and how the architecture has largely remained unchanged.

Whether it’s seeing a proud shop keeper outside his establishment in the town centre or viewing our predecessors strolling through Borough Gardens, looking back at how life used to be provides a fascinating insight into yesteryear.


Old Photos of Dorchester - Cornhill
The Cornhill Dorchester. View looking down South Street.

The bobby on the beat looking on at the barrow boy and horse and cart turning into Cornhill is one of our favourites. The many awnings over the shops and many hanging lanterns make you wish you could step back in time to experience this for yourself.



Old photos of Dorchester - H. W. Perham Hairdresser & Co.
H. W. Perham Hairdresser and Wig Maker. 14 South Street Dorchester.

Still plenty of hairdressers left in Dorchester today but not too many advertising wig making like this shop in South Street.



Old photos of Dorchester - High West Street
Dorchester – High West Street

The main difference that stands out from this photo compared to today is the lack of road markings and cars. Most of the buildings are now as they used to be here.



Old photos of Dorchester - Grammar School and Nappers Mite Alms House
Grammar School and Nappers Mite Alms House

The horse and cart coming down South Street looks fantastic. We wondered if the clock above Nappers Mite was working when this photo was taken!



Old photos of Dorchester - Judge Jeffery's Lodgings
Judge Jeffery’s Lodgings, High West Street, Dorchester

The Judge Jeffery’s building used as Groves – The County Clothing & Outfitting Stores. There is a lot of stock on display in the windows.



Old photos of Dorchester - South Walks
South Walks, Dorchester

Very little has changed since this photo was taken on South Walks.



Old photo of Dorset, Dorchester, High West Street
Horses and carts in High West Street, Dorchester

High West Street used to be busy with the sound of horse’s hoofs and cart wheels rather than the vehicle noises and pedestrian crossing beeps that echo along the road now.



Old photos of Dorchester - Fordington Hill
View up Fordington Hill, Dorchester

A residential scene of Fordinton Hill. There appears to be a few people out walking down the hill on this day.



Old Dorchester Photos - Borough Gardens
Borough Gardens, Dorchester

A couple taking a stroll through Borough Gardens in Victorian times. Is that the Monkey Puzzle tree planted there as a young sapling? It is now a very mature and established tree.

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I too have ancestors from central Dorchester around 1900 to 1920. My mother’s grandmother grew up in the residence attached to one of the shops in the Cornhill photo and her husband-to-be, my great grandfather, similarly lived close to his father’s shop in High Street East. If I give you the full addresses can you help find me photos of the shops or other information.

Are there any photos of the area known as Fourgates before it was built on in the early 1970s?

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