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Visiting Dorchester

Places of interest

Walks around Dorchester

Dorchester is a bustling market town but is much more than that. The many attractive walks that are within easy reach of the town centre can transport you very quickly to the peace and greenery of the countryside. Look out for interesting and unusual discoveries on the way.

Here are a few ideas. Take the walk shown below through from Trinity Street (next to The Junction pub) to the Borough Gardens (above). Try the walk down South Walks to Elizabeth Frink’s celebrated Martyrs statue (top right). Continue down High East Street and turn left over the bridge along the riverside walk or go past Thomas Hardy’s statue by the Top O’Town Roundabout along the raised walk alongside the road known as The Grove. Round the corner you will find the entrance to the free Roman Town House.

Maumbury Rings, just off the Weymouth Road, was originally a Neolithic Henge monument from around 2500 BC. It was the Romans who lowered the central area and built up the banks to create an amphitheatre capable of holding 10,000 people.It was used as a cannon emplacement during the Civil War, guarding the town’s southern approaches. Mary Channing was executed here in 1705 for poisoning her husband. She was strangled and burnt. It seems so peaceful now when the only disturbance is the occasional concert or performance but its long bloody history fascinated Thomas Hardy who witnessed excavations on this site when he was in his sixties. The site is mentioned in his novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge.

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