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Heritage and History

Our guide to what the amazing heritage and historical attractions in Pubeck

If you love history then there’s lots to explore in and around Purbeck.

First on the list of historical attractions in Purbeck must be the iconic ruins of Corfe Castle in Purbeck, one of the most visited sites in the area!

If you love castles done miss the lovely the 17th century castle at Lulworth,  which also almost became a ruin after a tragic fire!

Visit the National Trust's Corfe Castle in Purbeck, Dorset
Corfe Castle
The Saxon Church of St Martins in Wareham
The ancient Saxon church of Wareham

From ancient Saxon to modern military history

Purbeck has an amazing history to discover…

Did you know that Wareham has some of the best preserved ancient saxon defensive walls in the country. Find out more about the walls at Visit Wareham website. 

There’s plenty of ancient historic Saxon and Norman churches in Purbeck to discover. Don’t miss the the St Martin’s on the Walls in Wareham, at over 1000 years old it is the most complete example of a Saxon Church in Dorset. It is also the home of a famous effigy of TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

To find out more about Lawrence of Arabia in Dorset you can visit T. E Lawrence’s home at the nearby Clouds Hill.

If you are interested in military history make sure not to miss the world’s best collection of tanks at The Tank Museum at Bovington.  or take a trip to Langton Matraver’s local museum (near Swanage) to discover their important links to the history of radar in the second world war. Don’t miss a visit to Dorset’s famous ‘ghost’ village how residents were forced to abandon it during the 2nd World War. 

Wareham Walls
The earthworks that surround Wareham are one of the best examples of Saxon Walls in the country!
The Tank Museum
The world’s best collection of tanks

Amazing geology of Purbeck and its links to the local quarrying industries

Fossil at the Etches Musuem of Marine Fossils Kimmeridge Jurassic Coast Purbeck
Discover the amazing fossils at the Etches Collection
Purbeck Mining and Mineral Museumm
The Purbeck Mining & Mineral Musuem

There’s also some fascinating museums to visit, detailing Purbeck’s ancient history from marine dinosaur fossils from the Jurassic Coast at the Etches Museum to Purbeck geological history and local quarrying industries at the Purbeck Stone Museum at Langton Matravers and Purbeck Park’s Mineral and Mining Museum near Corfe. 

Local town musuems

There are also some lovely local town museums at Wareham Town Museum, which tells the story of this ancient Saxon market town and Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre where you can discover the fascinating history of this lovely seaside town. Or visit one of England’s smallest museum’s at the village museum at Corfe!

Corfe Museum
One of the smallest Museums in England!
The Purbeck Stone Museum
Langton Matravers
A Tiny Hidden Gem!

Historical interest events in Purbeck

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