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VISIT Wareham

Wareham is known as the gateway to the Isle of Purbeck, and is one of the most beautiful, and ancient, riverside towns in the country.


Being located between the River Frome and Piddle, it is unsurprising that the earliest settlements in Wareham date back to 9000 BC, during the stone age. Wareham’s age has clearly lead to the creation of a town with a rich, diverse history.

Wareham was once a wealthy Anglo Saxon port, being one of the most important in the country during King Alfred’s reign. This made Wareham a target for Viking invaders in 875 AD. King Alfred successfully defended Wareham from the invaders, and as a consequence decided that Wareham needed greater protection. The defences took the form of walls which surrounded the town, the remnants of which can still be seen today. These Saxons walls are the best preserved in the country. They can be found surrounding the centre of the town. 

Wareham is also home to St Martins church, the most complete Saxon church in Dorset. The church is over 1000 years old, and has changed much over the centuries, however the original Saxon nave, chancel, wall arcading and traces of a Saxon door are still clearly visible. The church is famous for containing the effigy of TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia).

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Getting to Wareham...

For local transport you can use Corfe Station for Swanage Railway trips to  Swanage and Wareham. There is also a local bus service – the Purbeck Breezer no. 40 . There is also the season (May – September) Purbeck Breezer no. 30 which goes from Swanage to Dorchester via Corfe.  See https://www.morebus.co.uk/purbeck-breezer

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