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Wareham - historic towns survey

The Dorset Historic Towns Project report on Wareham.

The historic urban character of Wareham reflects both its origins as a Saxon burh and the changes wrought by a major fire in 1762. The street grid and rectilinear form of the town centre has its origins in the laying out of the burh, and the survival of the Saxon town defences as significant earthworks has defined the shape and structure of the historic town and constrained suburban development.

Long narrow historic properties along the main streets have defined a characteristic rhythm to the streetscapes with their predominantly Georgian brick houses built after the 1762 fire. This unity of historic built environment is a major component of the historic character of the town. The survival of many unbroken groups of buildings with little disruption from modern development, is a major factor that highlights the contribution made by historic elements to Wareham's urban character. The landscape setting of the town on a low ridge between two rivers has constrained suburban development to immediately east and west of the town and encouraged expansion further to the north at Northport. The extensive views from the Town Walls and the Quay across the floodplains and the surrounding landscape is another significant element in the character of the town.

Here is a summary (pdf, 226kb) (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).

Part 1 and 2 Introduction and overview (pdf, 470kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 3 and 4 Context and sources (pdf, 510kb) (opens in a new window)

Parts 5.1 and 5.2 Historical analysis - Saxon and Norman (pdf, 545kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.3 and 5.4 Historical analysis - Medieval and Post-medieval (pdf, 652kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.5 and 5.6 Historical analysis - Nineteenth century and Inter-war (pdf, 589kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 5.7 Historical analysis - Modern (pdf, 345kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Character appraisal (pdf, 357kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 1 The Town Centre (pdf, 745kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 2 St John's Hill (pdf, 609kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 3 Pound Lane (pdf, 663kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 4 The Town Walls (pdf, 827kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 5 Northwest Quarter (pdf, 750kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 6 Northeast Quarter (pdf, 686kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 7 Worgret Road (pdf, 668kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 6 Historic Urban Character Area 8 Bestwall Road (pdf, 624kb) (opens in a new window)

Part 7 Research and appendices (pdf, 199kb) (opens in a new window)

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