Dorchester (Oxfordshire)

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Coordinates 51 ° 39 ′  N , 1 ° 10 ′  W Coordinates: 51 ° 39 ′  N , 1 ° 10 ′  W
Dorchester-on-Thames (England)
Residents 3000
Post town Wallingford
ZIP code section OX10
prefix 01865
Part of the country England
region South East England
Shire county Oxfordshire
District South Oxfordshire
Civil Parish Dorchester
British Parliament Wantage

Dorchester-on-Thames [ ˈdɔːtʃɪstə ] is a small town and civil parish ( civil parish ) in the county of Oxfordshire in England.


Dorchester has about 3,000 residents; it is located between the cities of Oxford and Reading about 500 m east of the Thames and 52 m above sea level . The A 4074 passes east of the village. The River Thame flows east of the village and flows south of it into the Thames.


Dorchester dates back to a Neolithic settlement . The Romans also settled here and called the settlement Dorcic . In 635, Bishop Birinus established a mission in Dorchester after converting the King of Wessex , Cynegils , to Christianity. At that time the place was the center of the Kingdom of Wessex. Dorchester was later replaced by Winchester as capital and conquered by Offa , King of Mercien .

In the 9th century the place became the seat of the Bishop of Dorchester after the Bishop of Leicester had to flee from the Vikings . Large parts of the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia belonged to the diocese . In 1072 the bishopric was moved from Dorchester to Lincoln .

Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Dorchester Abbey
Norman baptismal font in the former abbey church

The spacious church was a Saxon, then a Norman episcopal church from 635 to 1072 and an Augustinian abbey church founded by Bishop Alexander von Lincoln from 1140 , where crowds of pilgrims venerated the shrine of St. Birinus . The monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536 and the Birinus shrine was destroyed. Richard Beauforest of Dorchester bought the monastery buildings and the church in 1554; the sacred building has served as the Anglican parish church since then . A Norman baptismal font made of lead , which shows eleven apostles in relief , is particularly worth mentioning. The church tower was built in 1602.


The World Poohsticks Championship has been taking place in Dorchester since 1983 , a game that Pooh the Bear and his friends play in the book by Alan Alexander Milne : The players throw sticks into the river while standing on a bridge. The winner is the one whose stick appears first on the other side of the bridge.


The city is the birthplace of Mark Wright (* 1963), a soccer coach and former soccer player.

Web links

Commons : Dorchester-on-Thames  - collection of images, videos and audio files