|Part of the country||England|
|region||South West England|
|status||Ceremonial County and Unitary Authority|
|First mention||10th century (as Dorseteschyre )|
|surface||2,653 km² (20th of 48 )|
|founded||April 1, 2019|
Districts / Unitary Authorities
Dorset [ ˈdɔːsɪt ] (formerly Dorsetshire ) is a traditional and ceremonial county in south-west England . The capital was Dorchester . The neighboring counties are Devon to the west, Somerset to the northwest, Wiltshire to the northeast and Hampshire to the east.
Dorset is home to around 750,000 people and has the highest proportion of elderly residents of any county in Great Britain : 25.9% of the population are over 65 years of age.
The seaside resort of Bournemouth and the port of Poole dominate the southeast of the otherwise rather rural county. In the 19th century, today's metropolitan area was little more than a small port surrounded by heathland.
In literature, Dorset is known as the home of the author and poet Thomas Hardy . Numerous places that he ascribes to the fictional Wessex in his stories are in Dorset. His cottage, in the woods east of Dorchester, and his house in Dorchester are managed by the National Trust and can be viewed. Stalbridge is the home of Douglas Adams , author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy . The poet William Barnes , the writers Theodore Francis Powys , John le Carré and PD James, and the satirist Thomas Love Peacock are also from Dorset.
In addition, the artist Sir James Thornhill , the musicians Sir John Eliot Gardiner , PJ Harvey and Robert Fripp ( King Crimson ), the paleontologist Mary Anning , the rowing champion Matthew Pinsent and the archbishops John Morton and William Wake were born in Dorset .
After the death of Thomas Edward Lawrence , who had become known as Lawrence of Arabia (1888–1935), his friend Eric Kennington erected a tomb with a portrait of Lawrence in Arabic dress in St. Martin's Church in Wareham .
Poole Harbor is the second largest natural harbor in the world after Sydney . There are numerous islands in the very shallow bay. Including Brownsea Island , the founding site of the Boy Scout Movement. One of the few English oil fields is located under the harbor.
On April 1, 2019, the Unitary Authority of Bournemouth and Poole and the District of Christchurch merged to form the Unitary Authority Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and the districts of East Dorset , North Dorset , Purbeck , West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland to form the Unitary Authority Dorset .
Cities and towns
- Abbotsbury , Ashmore
- Beaminster , Blandford Forum , Bournemouth , Bridport , Broadstone
- Charmouth , Christchurch , Corfe Castle
- East Lulworth
- Iwerne Courtney , Iwerne Minster
- Kington Magna
- Langton Matravers , Lyme Regis , Lytchett Matravers , Lytchett Minster
- Melcombe Regis , Milton Abbas
- Poole , Poundbury , Puddletown
- Shaftesbury , Sherborne , St. Ives , Stalbridge , Sturminster Marshall , Sturminster Newton , Swanage
- Wareham , West Lulworth , West Moors , West Stour , Weymouth , Wimborne Minster , Worth Matravers
- Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens
- Abbotsbury Swannery
- Badbury Rings
- Blue pool
- Bovington Tank Museum , Bovington
- Brownsea Island
- Cerne Abbas Giant
- Corfe Castle
- Edmondsham House
- Forde Abbey
- Great Dorset Steam Fair , world's largest tractor meeting
- Hardy Cottage , home of the writer Thomas Hardy
- Hardy Monument dedicated to Admiral Thomas Masterman Hardy
- roman temple at Jordan Hill
- Jurassic Coast (a World Heritage Site)
- Kingston Lacy
- Lulworth Castle
- Maiden Castle
- Nine Stones (Winterbourne Abbas)
- Nothe fort
- Purse Caundle Manor
- Sherborne Abbey
- Sherborne Castle
- Swanage Railway
- Wimborne Minster