Wareham, Dorset
Wareham is an historic market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 and, under the name Wareham Town, a civil parish, in the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 county of Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

. The town is situated on the River Frome
River Frome, Dorset
The River Frome is a river in Dorset in the south of England. At 30 miles long it is the major chalkstream in southwest England. It is navigable upstream from Poole Harbour as far as the town of Wareham.-Geography:...

 eight miles (13 km) southwest of Poole
Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is east of Dorchester, and Bournemouth adjoins Poole to the east. The Borough of Poole was made a unitary authority in 1997, gaining administrative independence from Dorset County Council...


Situation and geography

The town is built on a strategic dry point
Dry point
In geography a dry point is an area of firm or flood-free ground in an area of wetland, marsh or flood plains. The term typically applies to settlements, and dry point settlements were common in history....

 between the River Frome and the River Piddle
River Piddle
The River Piddle or Trent or North River is a small rural Dorset river which rises next to Alton Pancras church and flows south and then south-easterly more or less parallel with its bigger neighbour, the River Frome, to Wareham, where they both enter Poole Harbour via...

 at the head of the Wareham Channel of Poole Harbour
Poole Harbour
Poole Harbour is a large natural harbour in Dorset, southern England, with the town of Poole on its shores. The harbour is a drowned valley formed at the end of the last ice age and is the estuary of several rivers, the largest being the Frome. The harbour has a long history of human settlement...

. The Frome Valley runs through an area of unresistant sand, clay and gravel rocks, and much of its valley has wide flood plains and marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

 land. At its estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 the river has formed the wide shallow ria
A ria is a coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley. It is a drowned river valley that remains open to the sea. Typically, rias have a dendritic, treelike outline although they can be straight and without significant branches. This pattern is inherited from the...

 of Poole Harbour. Wareham is built on a low dry island between the marshy river plains.

The town is situated on the A351
A roads in Zone 3 of the Great Britain numbering scheme
List of A roads in zone 3 in Great Britain starting west of the A3 and south of the A4 .-Single- and double-digit roads:-Triple-digit roads:-Four-digit roads :-Four-digit roads :...

 Lytchett Minster
Lytchett Minster
Lytchett Minster is a small village in the English county of Dorset. Lytchett Minster is on the A35 road, the main route between the towns of Poole and Dorchester...

Swanage is a coastal town and civil parish in the south east of Dorset, England. It is situated at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck, approximately 10 km south of Poole and 40 km east of Dorchester. The parish has a population of 10,124 . Nearby are Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks,...

 road and at the eastern terminus of the A352 road to Dorchester and Sherborne
Sherborne is a market town in northwest Dorset, England. It is sited on the River Yeo, on the edge of the Blackmore Vale, east of Yeovil. The A30 road, which connects London to Penzance, runs through the town. The population of the town is 9,350 . 27.1% of the population is aged 65 or...

, both roads now bypassing the town centre. The town has a station
Wareham railway station
Wareham railway station serves the town of Wareham in Dorset, England. It is situated about one kilometre north of the town centre.- History :...

 on the South Western Main Line
South Western Main Line
The South Western Main Line is a railway line between London Waterloo and Weymouth on the Dorset coast, in the south of England. It is a major railway which serves many important commuter areas, as well as the major settlements of Southampton and Bournemouth...

 railway, and was formerly the junction station for services along the branch line to Swanage, now preserved as the Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway
The Swanage Railway is a long heritage railway in the Purbeck district of Dorset, England. The railway follows the route of the Purbeck branch line between Norden railway station, Corfe Castle railway station, Harman's Cross railway station, Herston Halt railway station and Swanage...

. The steam railway has ambitions to extend its service, currently from Swanage to Norden, near Corfe Castle back to Worgret Junction
Worgret is a village in the English county of Dorset. It is situated immediately to the west of the town of Wareham.Worgret forms part of the civil parish of Arne, within the Purbeck local government district.-External links:...

 (where the mainline and branch divided) and into Wareham again.

To the north west of the town a large conifer plantation, Wareham Forest
Wareham Forest
Wareham Forest is a large coniferous plantation beside the A35 road near Wareham, between Poole and Dorchester, in Dorset, England. The forest is managed by the Forestry Commission for conservation and recreation....

 stretches several miles to the A35 road
A35 road
The A35 is a trunk road in southern England, running from Honiton in Devon, that then passes through Dorset and terminates in Southampton, Hampshire...

 and the southern foothills of the Dorset Downs
Dorset Downs
The Dorset Downs are an area of Chalk downland in the centre of the county Dorset in south west England. The downs are the most western part of a larger Chalk Formation which also includes Cranborne Chase, Salisbury Plain, Hampshire Downs, Chiltern Hills, North Downs and South Downs.The Dorset...

. To the south east is Corfe Castle and the heathland that borders Poole Harbour, including Wytch Farm
Wytch Farm
Wytch Farm is an oil field and processing facility in the Purbeck district of Dorset, England. It is the largest onshore oil field in western Europe. The facility, operated by BP, is hidden in a coniferous forest on Wytch Heath on the southern shore of Poole Harbour, two miles north of Corfe Castle...

 oil field and Studland
Studland is a small village on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. It is famous for its beaches and nature reserve. In 2001 Studland had a population of 480, the lowest in 50 years...

 & Godlingstone Heath Nature Reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

. About four miles (7 km) to the south is a chalk ridge, the Purbeck Hills
Purbeck Hills
The Purbeck Hills and South Dorset Downs are a ridge of chalk downs in Dorset, England. The hills extend from the Dorset Downs west of Dorchester, where the River Frome begins to form a valley dividing them from the larger area of downland to the north. The ridge then runs east through the Isle...

, and eight miles (12 km) to the south is the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...



The town's strategic setting has made it an important settlement throughout its long history. Excavations at the nearby Bestwall site have produced evidence of transient early Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 activity dating to around 9000 BCE. At the same site four large Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 pits containing worked flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

 and pottery fragments dating to 3700 BCE were found. Three greenstone axeheads discovered also probably date to this period. Flint working and potting continued throughout the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. The first house discovered dates to the mid 15th century BCE.

Archaeological evidence exists of a small Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 settlement, though the current town was founded by the Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

. The Roman name is unknown, but the town is referred to as Werham in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle entry of 784, from Old English wer (meaning 'fish trap, a weir') and hām ('homestead') or hamm ('enclosure hemmed in by water').

The town's oldest features are the town walls, ancient earth ramparts
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

 surrounding the town, likely built by Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 in the 9th century to defend the town from the Danes as part of his system of burh
A Burh is an Old English name for a fortified town or other defended site, sometimes centred upon a hill fort though always intended as a place of permanent settlement, its origin was in military defence; "it represented only a stage, though a vitally important one, in the evolution of the...

towns. The Danes had invaded Wareham in 876, only leaving after the payment of a ransom
Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it can refer to the sum of money involved.In an early German law, a similar concept was called bad influence...

. In 998 they attacked again, and in 1015 an invasion led by King Canute left the town in ruins. The town was a Saxon
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 royal burial place, notably that of King Beorhtric (800 CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

). Also in the town at the ancient minster church of Lady St. Mary  is the coffin said to be that of Edward the Martyr
Edward the Martyr
Edward the Martyr was king of the English from 975 until he was murdered in 978. Edward was the eldest son of King Edgar, but not his father's acknowledged heir...

, dating from 978. His remains had been hastily buried there and were later taken from Wareham to Shaftesbury Abbey
Shaftesbury Abbey
Shaftesbury Abbey was an abbey that housed nuns in Shaftesbury, Dorset. Founded in the year 888, the abbey was the wealthiest Benedictine nunnery in England, a major pilgrimage site, and the town's central focus...

 in north Dorset (and now lie in Brookwood Cemetery
Brookwood Cemetery
Brookwood Cemetery is a burial ground in Brookwood, Surrey, England. It is the largest cemetery in the United Kingdom and one of the largest in western Europe.-History:...

, Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...


By the end of the Saxon period, Wareham had become one of the most important towns in the county, to the extent that it housed two mints
Mint (coin)
A mint is an industrial facility which manufactures coins for currency.The history of mints correlates closely with the history of coins. One difference is that the history of the mint is usually closely tied to the political situation of an era...

 for the issue of Royal money. The Burghal Hidage
Burghal Hidage
The Burghal Hidage is an Anglo-Saxon document providing a list of the fortified burhs in Wessex and elsewhere in southern England. It offers an unusually detailed picture of the network of burhs that Alfred the Great designed to defend his kingdom from the predations of Viking invaders.-Burhs and...

 lists the town as 1,600 hides
Hide (unit)
The hide was originally an amount of land sufficient to support a household, but later in Anglo-Saxon England became a unit used in assessing land for liability to "geld", or land tax. The geld would be collected at a stated rate per hide...

, the third largest in the realm. After the conquest of England
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

, the Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 built a castle on the banks of the River Frome, at the site now known as Castle Close. The castle was the focus of much fighting between the forces of Stephen
Stephen, King of England
Stephen , often referred to as Stephen of Blois , was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne by right of his wife. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda...

 and Matilda
Empress Matilda
Empress Matilda , also known as Matilda of England or Maude, was the daughter and heir of King Henry I of England. Matilda and her younger brother, William Adelin, were the only legitimate children of King Henry to survive to adulthood...

 during the period of civil war
The Anarchy
The Anarchy or The Nineteen-Year Winter was a period of English history during the reign of King Stephen, which was characterised by civil war and unsettled government...

 in the mid 12th century. The keep
A keep is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the...

 was destroyed at an unknown date in the 12th or 13th century, possibly under the terms of the Treaty of Wallingford
Treaty of Wallingford
The Treaty of Wallingford of 1153, aka Treaty of Winchester or as the Treaty of Westminster, was an agreement that effectively ended the civil war known as the Anarchy, caused by a dispute between Empress Matilda and her cousin King Stephen of England over the English crown...

, and no visible trace remains. Up until this time Wareham had been an important port; however the growth of Poole and the gradual silting of the river caused a decline in trade and by the end of the 13th century most of the foreign trade had transferred to Poole. Local trade continued to be handled at the Quay until the construction of the railway in the 19th century.

During the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, Wareham changed hands several times between the Royalists
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 and Parliamentarians
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

 and in August 1644 was the site of a fierce battle with 2,000 Cromwellian
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 soldiers besieging the town.

After the Monmouth Rebellion
Monmouth Rebellion
The Monmouth Rebellion,The Revolt of the West or The West Country rebellion of 1685, was an attempt to overthrow James II, who had become King of England, King of Scots and King of Ireland at the death of his elder brother Charles II on 6 February 1685. James II was a Roman Catholic, and some...

 of 1685, Wareham was one of a number of towns in Dorset where Judge Jeffreys
George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys
George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem, PC , also known as "The Hanging Judge", was an English judge. He became notable during the reign of King James II, rising to the position of Lord Chancellor .- Early years and education :Jeffreys was born at the family estate of Acton Hall, near Wrexham,...

 held the Bloody Assizes
Bloody Assizes
The Bloody Assizes were a series of trials started at Winchester on 25 August 1685 in the aftermath of the Battle of Sedgemoor, which ended the Monmouth Rebellion in England....

, with five rebels being hanged, drawn and quartered
Hanged, drawn and quartered
To be hanged, drawn and quartered was from 1351 a penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reigns of King Henry III and his successor, Edward I...

 on the West Walls, an area known as 'Bloody Bank'. This may also have been the site of the execution of a hermit known as Peter de Pomfret who in 1213 had prophesied that before the next Ascension Day King John's rule would be over. The prophesy turned out to be incorrect, and the King decreed that Peter should be dragged through the streets of the town tied to a horse's tail and hanged
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

 together with his son.

In 1762, a fire destroyed two thirds of the town, which has been rebuilt in Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 with red brick and Purbeck limestone, following the earlier street pattern. The town is divided into four quarters by the two main roads, which cross at right-angles. The medieval almshouse
Almshouses are charitable housing provided to enable people to live in a particular community...

s escaped the fire, and some of the Georgian facades are in fact disguising earlier buildings which also survived.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Wareham became a garrison
Garrison is the collective term for a body of troops stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it, but now often simply using it as a home base....

 town with up to 7,000 soldiers living and training locally. The camp was re-located to nearby Bovington
Bovington Camp
Bovington Camp is a British Army base in Dorset, England.It is home to The Armour Centre, formerly the Royal Armoured Corps Centre and includes Allenby Barracks and Stanley Barracks. Bovington Tank Museum is adjoining....

 in 1922. The town survived the Second World War largely intact, although five houses were destroyed when a bomb dropped by a German aeroplane
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 fell near St Martin's Church in 1942.

Because of the constraints of the rivers and marshland Wareham grew little during the 20th century, while nearby towns, such as Poole
Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is east of Dorchester, and Bournemouth adjoins Poole to the east. The Borough of Poole was made a unitary authority in 1997, gaining administrative independence from Dorset County Council...

, grew rapidly.

Religious sites

Wareham contains several places of worship with the oldest being the Saxon churches of Lady St. Mary (substantially modified but the origins are pre-conquest
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

. The Saxon nave was demolished in 1841-2) and St. Martins-on-the-Walls
St Martin's Church, Wareham
St Martin's Church, Wareham is a Saxon church in the town of Wareham, Dorset in England. It is the most complete example of a Saxon church in Dorset.-History and features:...

 (built c.1030, dedicated to Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours
Martin of Tours was a Bishop of Tours whose shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Around his name much legendary material accrued, and he has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints...

). Both are Anglican
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. The 14th century building of Holy Trinity Church stands on the site of the Saxon chapel St Andrew's and is now a tourist information centre. Other churches are the Wareham United Reformed Church
United Reformed Church
The United Reformed Church is a Christian church in the United Kingdom. It has approximately 68,000 members in 1,500 congregations with some 700 ministers.-Origins and history:...

 in Church Street, St. Edward the Martyr Roman Catholic church on Shatters Hill, Wareham Methodist Church in North St. and the Evangelical Church in Ropers Lane.


The civil parish of Wareham Town encompasses the walled town of Wareham, situated on the land between the rivers Frome and Piddle, together with the area of Northport to the north of the River Piddle, and a relatively small amount of the surrounding rural area. The parish has an area of 6.52 square kilometres.

The sister civil parish of Wareham St. Martin
Wareham St. Martin
Wareham St. Martin is a civil parish in the English county of Dorset. The parish spreads across a large, and mostly rural area to the north of the town of Wareham including much of Wareham Forest. However the town of Wareham lies within its own civil parish, and the only significant settlement...

 covers much of the rural area to the north of Wareham, including the village of Sandford
Sandford, Dorset
Sandford is a village in the English county of Dorset, on the A351 road some 2 miles from Wareham and 7 miles from Poole.Sandford forms the only significant settlement within the civil parish of Wareham St. Martin, which otherwise covers much of the rural area to the north of Wareham. The parish...

. Taken together the two Wareham parishes have an area of 36.18 square kilometres, with a 2001 population of 8,417 in 3,788 dwellings.

Both parishes forms part of the Purbeck local government district
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

 within the county
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 of Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

. They are within the Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency of the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 and the South West England
South West England (European Parliament constituency)
South West England is a constituency of the European Parliament. For 2009 it elects 6 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation, reduced from 7 in 2004.-Boundaries:...

 constituency of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...



Religion %
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

No religion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

Other 0.25
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

Not stated 6.59

0–15 15.4
16–17 2.5
18–44 29.3
45–59 23.4
60–84 26.4
85+ 3.0

1921 1,930
1951 2,750
1971 4,370
1981 4,580
1991 5,620
2001 5,680
2009 5,640

The population of Wareham according to the 2001 UK Census was 5,665 living in 2,545 dwellings. 99% of Wareham's population are of White ethnicity. 80.33% of the population state their religion as Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, 12.24% as "No religion" with 6.59% not stated. There is a high proportion of older people in the town: 29.4% of the population are over 60 years old, against a national average of 21%. The largest industry of employment for those who live in Wareham is manufacturing which employs 16.3%. Three other significant areas of employment are: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles (13.5%), real estate renting and business activities (12.2%) and health and social work (10.5%).


Wareham is twinned with Conches-en-Ouche
Conches-en-Ouches is a commune in the Eure department in northern France.-Geography:It is located by the Rouloir river, southwest of Évreux in the Haute-Normandie region. The town is located on a plateau known as the Pays d'Ouche.-Population:-References:...

 in Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and with Hemsbach
Hemsbach is a town in the district of Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated on the Bergstraße, 18 km northeast of Mannheim.Hemsbach has restored one of the synagogues that flourished in the town before Kristallnacht....

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Since the 16th century Wareham has been a market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

, and still holds a market on Thursdays and Saturdays. In 2005 Wareham was named as a Fairtrade Town
Fairtrade Town
Fairtrade Town is a status awarded by a recognized Fairtrade certification body describing an area which is committed to the promotion of Fairtrade certified goods...


Events held in the town include the annual carnival which takes place in July with a parade, fireworks and music by the Quay. A new event is the music festival held in summer, with bands playing on the Quay, the Town Hall and the town's pubs. The Wareham Court Leet, one of the few remaining Court Leet
Court leet
The court leet was a historical court baron of England and Wales and Ireland that exercised the "view of frankpledge" and its attendant police jurisdiction, which was normally restricted to the hundred courts.-History:...

s in Britain, meets nightly during the last week in November.

In the church of St Martin-on-the-Walls, there is a recumbent effigy of T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

 (Lawrence of Arabia) in Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 clothing, sculpted by Eric Kennington
Eric Kennington
Eric Henri Kennington RA was an English Sculptor, artist and illustrator, and an official war artist in both World Wars.-Early life:...

. Lawrence is buried at Moreton Churchyard
Moreton, Dorset
Moreton is a village in Dorset, England, situated on the River Frome eight miles east of Dorchester. The village has a population of 270 . It has a number of long distance foot paths and cycle ways passing through it: the Purbeck cycle way, Route 2 , the Frome valley trail, the Jubilee trail, and...

 where every year a quantity (decreases by one each year) of red roses are left. Near the town is Clouds Hill
Clouds Hill
Clouds Hill is an isolated cottage near Wareham in the county of Dorset in South West England. It is the former home of T. E. Lawrence and is now run as a museum by the National Trust.-History:...

 and Bovington army camp where Lawrence died after a motorbike accident. Wareham Town Museum
Wareham Town Museum
Wareham Town Museum tells the story of the Wareham area of Dorset in southern England from prehistoric times to the present day. It has a special section on Lawrence of Arabia, who lived close by at Clouds Hill. The museum is regularly updated with new exhibits.The museum has produced an hour-long...

, in East Street, has an interesting section on Lawrence and in 2006 produced an hour-long DVD entitled T. E. Lawrence — His Final Years in Dorset, including a reconstruction of the fatal accident. The museum also contains many artefacts on all aspects of the history of the town.

Cultural references

Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, OM was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.While he regarded himself primarily as a...

 in his novels based the town of "Anglebury" on Wareham. Dinah Craik
Dinah Craik
Dinah Maria Craik was an English novelist and poet. She was born at Stoke-on-Trent and brought up in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.After the death of her mother in 1845, Dinah Maria Mulock settled in London about 1846...

 used the town as one of the settings in her novel Agatha's Husband (as "Kingcombe"). Anglebury House - a tea house/restaurant still operating on the high street - was frequented by D H Lawrence.. The seat where Lawrence regularly sat is marked by a plaque

Wareham is the setting for one of the "Amazing Adventures of Scary Bones the Skeleton" series of books for children by Ron Dawson
Ron Dawson
Dr. Ronald Leslie Dawson, . Special Educational Needs educator, psychologist, researcher and author. Author and co-author of numerous books and articles concerning the education of pupils with SEN...

, Scary Bones meets the Wacky Witches of Wareham. The book also includes a photograph of the town bridge and nearby Corfe Castle which also features in the story.

Some scenes from the 2002 German ZDF
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen , ZDF, is a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz . It is run as an independent non-profit institution, which was founded by the German federal states . The ZDF is financed by television licence fees called GEZ and advertising revenues...

 TV production Morgen Träumen Wir Gemeinsam ("Tomorrow We Dream Together") were filmed in Wareham.


Wareham is the home of Wareham Rangers Football Club who currently play in the Dorset Senior League
Dorset Senior League
The Dorset Senior League is a football competition based in England. It is a feeder to the Dorset Premier Football League, which is a level 11 league of the English football league system. Thus, the Dorset Senior League is a level 12 league. The bottom club may be relegated to the Dorset League...


Notable people

  • John Hutchins - Author of The History & Antiquities of the County of Dorset. Lived in Wareham from 1744 until his death in 1773. Buried in the town at the church of Lady St. Mary.
  • Edwin Keppel Bennett
    Edwin Keppel Bennett
    Edwin Keppel Bennett, noms de plume: Francis Bennett, Francis Keppel , was an English writer, poet, Germanist, and a prominent academic...

     - Writer, poet, Germanist and academic. Born in Wareham in 1887.
  • T.E. Lawrence lived at nearby Clouds Hill
    Clouds Hill
    Clouds Hill is an isolated cottage near Wareham in the county of Dorset in South West England. It is the former home of T. E. Lawrence and is now run as a museum by the National Trust.-History:...

     and was a frequent visitor to the town in the latter years of his life.
  • David Mellor
    David Mellor
    David John Mellor, QC is a British politician, non-practising barrister, broadcaster, journalist and football pundit. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister John Major as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for National Heritage , before...

     - British politician, born in Wareham in 1949.
  • Actor Edward Fox
    Edward Fox (actor)
    Edward Charles Morice Fox, OBE is an English stage, film and television actor.He is generally associated with portraying the role of the upper-class Englishman, such as the title character in the film The Day of the Jackal and King Edward VIII in the serial Edward & Mrs...

    lives locally and in 2010 campaigned against the building of a supermarket on the outskirts of the town.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.