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Trailing Treves

Explore the Treves Trail - a walking trail in Dorchester which gradually reveals information about the life of Sir Frederick Treves.

175 years of rural healthcare

DCH175 has been a Heritage Lottery Funded project to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the founding of Dorset's county hospital. Such a significant institution touches many lives, and its history spans from the first free hospital care in Dorset to the founding of the NHS and beyond. Many people will remember the hospital at the old site in Princes Street, Dorchester.

The project brought together Mark Collyer, who was researching the hospital and making transcripts of records available via the History of Dorset County Hospital website; Arts In Hospitals; Dorset County Museum; Tim Laycock- a local musician; a Young Heritage Team and Dorset History Centre. Outcomes have  included a publication, exhibition panels, a walking trail, a collection of oral history recordings and a concert.

The Treves Trail

The trail invites you  to trace the footsteps of 19th Century doctor Sir Frederick Treves and his life in Dorset. As a resident of Dorchester and a supporter of the hospital, Treves was an eminent surgeon famous for befriending Joseph Merrick (aka the "Elephant Man") and performing a life-saving operation on the hospital's patron, King Edward VII. Despite his illustrious life, Treves remained a great fan of Dorset, and was the first President of the Dorset Men in London.

The free trail covers about 3.5 miles, and can be followed entirely on pavement. It contains no steep hills and there are public toilets en route. In short, it is a fun way to take a stroll and learn more about Dorchester's history in the process. 

The trail has received some positive feedback so far:

"Needs longer than 1½ hours to find boxes, read and enjoy. Boxes cleverly concealed. Really enjoyed the morning, the information was great, hope it lasts. GPSless Geocaching for Grannies!"

Explore for yourself

Leaflets outlining the Treves Trail route, and giving clues to help you find the hidden information boxes, are available from Dorset History Centre, Dorset County Museum or Dorchester Tourist Information Centre. An electronic version is also available: download an electronic version of the Treves Trail leaflet (opens in a new window).

Download the leaflet, follow the trail, leave your comments and name in the cache record notebooks and tell your friends. But don't give away the exact location of the boxes!

The Treves Trail suffers from occasional vandalism and random removal of the caches - so please let us know if you become aware of any missing segments. 


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