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Swanage - historic towns survey

The Dorset Historic Towns Project report on Swanage.

The historic urban character of Swanage illustrates the major phases of the town's development from a farming and quarrying village to an early 19thcentury watering-place, later seaside resort and modern dormitory town. Each of these phases has contributed to the present character of the town. Groups of vernacular buildings around Church Hill and Herston reflect the earlier settlements, while the small group of Georgian buildings at the end of the High Street reflects the early 19thcentury watering-place. The seafront and the station with the commercial development between, together with the large number of villas and guesthouses to the north and south chart the rise of the seaside resort.

Extensive inter-war and post-war suburban estates are testimony to the continuing popularity of Swanage as a resort and latterly as a retirement place. The most distinctive elements are the late 19thcentury buildings associated with George Burt, and the villas and terraces on the slopes rising up towards Durlston. The pleasing landscape and topographic setting has encouraged the development of Swanage as a seaside resort.

Here is a summary (pdf, 204kb) (opens in a new window) and the full report (February 2011) is below. We would welcome your comments. Please send any feedback to the Senior Archaeologist (Promotion and Liaison).

Parts 1 and 2 Introduction and overview (pdf, 608kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 3 and 4 Context and sources (pdf, 556kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.1 Historical development - Pre-urban (pdf, 488kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.2 Historical development - Early nineteenth century (pdf, 432kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.3 Historical development - Late nineteenth century (pdf, 410kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.4 Historical development - Inter-war period (pdf, 516kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.5 Historical development - Later twentieth century (pdf, 376kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Character appraisal (pdf, 385kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 1 Swanage High Street (pdf, 743kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 2 Station Road (pdf, 713kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 3 Durlston Down (pdf, 714kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 4 Peveril Point (pdf, 546kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 5 Swanage seafront (pdf, 567kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 6 Northbrook (pdf, 797kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 7 New Swanage (pdf, 511kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 8 Newton and Kings Road West (pdf, 719kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 9 Historic Herston (pdf, 635kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 10 Herston and Townsend (pdf, 765kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 7 Research and appendices (pdf, 292kb) (opens in a new window)

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