Secret Dorchester and Around
- Andrew Jackson
15th October 2023
Dorset’s county town of Dorchester is famous for its association with the writer Thomas Hardy but its history contains much more that has often been overlooked. Secret Dorchester and Around delves deep into the town’s lost, forgotten and hidden histories, recounting some remarkable stories. The area was an important Iron Age stronghold, the huge hill fort of Maiden Castle outside today’s town being taken over by the Romans in the first century AD. The Romans left an extensive legacy in Dorchester including an amphitheatre at Maumbury Rings which was later used as an execution site for 80 rebels from the Monmouth Rebellion condemned to death by Judge Jeffreys at the Bloody Assizes held in the town. Two centuries later, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were sentenced in Dorchester to penal servitude in Australia following their attempts to set up a trade union of agricultural workers in the nearby village of Tolpuddle.
With tales of remarkable characters, unusual events and tucked away or disappeared historical buildings and locations, Secret Dorchester and Around will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this town in Dorset.