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DorsetLife DORCHESTER The Dorset Magazine

in


WE ARE NOT ESTATE AGENTS

LEADERS IN ETHICAL PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

we are specialists solely in lettings

Dorset’s leading letting agent

WE ARE ARLA ACCREDITED all our staff are ARLA trained or qualified

WE DO NOT CUT CORNERS rigorous tenant referencing meticulous property management

Blandford 01258 452444

Dorchester 01305 257357

Shaftesbury 01747 853590

Sherborne 01935 815300

Weymouth 01305 774800

Wimborne 01202 842248


This copy of Dorset Life in Dorchester is presented to you with the compliments of Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine: Dorset's longest-established county magazine and the only

Dorset Life in 2013 DORCHESTER

one to be based in Dorset. Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine celebrates all that is best in Dorset, including Dorchester and the surrounding area: history, landscape, villages, people, present-day activities, wildlife, historic buildings and gardens. Presented to the highest standards of quality, editorial and photographic, Dorset Life – The Dorset Magazine is essential reading for everyone with an interest in Dorset and is available from all good newsagents and most supermarkets throughout Dorchester and Dorset as well as in app form, for instant download, via the iTunes and Google Play stores. LEFT: the September issue (with free Village Walks booklet) is available in the shops until 24/9/2013

Photo essay The delights of Poundbury Farmers' Market.............….5 Curiosities of Dorchester Some of the town's interesting and curious objects....11 Fair- and foul-weather friend An interview with local photographer Kris Dutson.......14 Why I love Antelope Walk What's special about this short passageway............21 Read any good books lately? The town's new library explored...............................22 Culinary Dorchester A whistle-stop, restaurant crawl....………................25 Where to go and what to see What's on in and around Dorchester.........................27 Dorchester property What's happening in sales and lettings....................31

RIGHT: the October issue (with feature on Thomas Hardy's Cottage) will be in the shops from 26/9/2013 to 29/10/2013

Please call us on 01929 551264 with any queries or for details of subscriptions (including gifts) to

Dorset Life - The Dorset Magazine

What did the Romans ever do for Dorchester? What relics remain from Roman times in town..........33 Cover photograph: Dorchester from the Keep by Jeanette Baker, International Photo Bank Centre-spread image (pages 18-19): Riverside view near Hardy's Cottage by Terry Yarrow Publisher: Lisa Richards office@dorsetlife.co.uk Editor: Joël Lacey editor@dorsetlife.co.uk Advertisement Sales Director: David Silk (01305 836440) dave@dorsetlife.co.uk Business Development Manager: Julie Cullen (01258 459090) julie@dorsetlife.co.uk Editorial design: Mark Fudge www.fudgiedesign.co.uk Advertisement design: Hierographics www.hierographics.co.uk Advertisement administration: Julie Staniland Printing: Pensord, Blackwood www.pensord.co.uk Published by The Dorset Magazine Ltd, 7 The Leanne, Sandford Lane, Wareham BH20 4DY All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited without permission. Buy Dorset Life at all good newsagents/supermarkets or via the app at Find us online at www.dorsetlife.co.uk/social @dorsetlifemag

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A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

,QKHULWDQFH7D[<RXU&KRLFH Who inherits the bulk of your estate - your family or the Chancellor? While most people are aware of the existence of Inheritance Tax (IHT), it is a subject which gives rise to some distaste or lack of interest and many people, not surprisingly, would rather delay consideration of this subject. So few people do anything about their potential IHT liability that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collected £2.9 billion for 2011/2012 alone (source HMRC March 2012). But is it only a problem for the rich? It all depends on how one defines ‘rich’. There are many of us who will have to pay IHT, yet do not feel particularly wealthy. One of the reasons for this wealth is the value of our homes, which for most people represents the largest single asset we own.

Are you leaving your family a hefty tax bill? Basically, everything you own is potentially taxable – your home, your investments, your cash in the bank or building society, your cars, any second homes (wherever they are in the world), your furniture, antiques, jewellery etc. Everything over the IHT threshold of £325,000 for a single person or £650,000 for a couple is liable for 40% tax. The following example is based on a married couple: Value of House

£550,000

Car and Caravan

£30,000

Cash in Bank

£20,000

ISAs and other Investments

£200,000

Flat in the South of France

£250,000

Total Estate

£1,050,000

Less Nil Rate Band of £650,000 exempt from IHT

£400,000

Inheritance to Children after IHT

£240,000

Inheritance Tax Payable on 2nd Death @40%

£160.000

This leaves £240,000 for distribution amongst your family. Nearly 30% has gone to the Government. So, if you have three individuals who you would like to benefit equally, they will each receive just £80,000. The largest single recipient is the Government. The £160,000 inheritance tax bill in the example above has to be paid before probate is granted. Some beneficiaries find that they have to borrow this amount in order to pay the tax, but probate can take up to a year to be granted. This leaves them with an administrative burden and unforeseen expense. The good news is that often some smart planning can have a huge benefit for the family. There are many ways of significantly reducing an IHT liability. These include: • Making sure that wills* are up to date and suitable • Using HMRC allowances • Lifetime gifts to family or Trusts* • Making Loans to a Trust • Investing in assets that are eligible for various reliefs, meaning that they are not subject to IHT • Cover the liability with a Whole of Life Insurance Policy

Tim Gallego is a Partner of the St. James's Place Partnership, which is the advisory channel of the prestigious St. James's Place Wealth Management. Tim is based locally and invites readers of Dorset Life to discuss their concerns within the current climate and discuss opportunities that are available.

For more information, call

01305 266 866 Alan Wing House, Holmead Walk, Poundbury, Dorchester Dorset DT1 3GE or email Tim on tim.gallego@sjpp.co.uk www.poundburywealth.co.uk

Many people are also concerned about needing their money to pay for Long Term Care in later life, but there are strategies for covering care fees whilst protecting the bulk of your estate. If you are uncertain about how you stand regarding IHT and would like to know more about how to pass on as much of your wealth to your family as you can, please contact Tim Gallego on 01305 266866. * Wills involve the referral to a service which is separate and distinct to those offered by St. James's Place and Wills and Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

The Partner represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group's wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group's website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The 'St. James's Place Partnership' and the title 'Partner' are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives.


Poundbury farmers' market On the first Saturday of every month, Dorset's biggest farmers' market takes place in Queen Mother Square in Poundbury. We took a look at what tasty morsels are available there. Right There are altogether too many temptingly tasty treats on offer, so as well as your wallet, be sure to bring your willpower! Below With produce fresh that morning, a farmers' market is a great place to buy the bounty of the sea, but once it's gone, it's gone

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FARMERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MARKET HELD MONTHLY IN: ay),

Poundbury (ďŹ rst Saturd rday), Shaftesbury (ďŹ rst Satu cond Saturday), ay), Bridport (se id Fr d con (se d or Blandf e (third Saturday), ay), Broadston id Fr ird (th e rn Sherbo et (fourth Saturday). Dorchester High Stre Delicious local food, drink and plants

For details telephone 01258 818282 e-mail: joyeatman@hotmail.co.uk

www.dorsetfarmersmarkets.co.uk

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Poundbury farmers' market - a photo essay

With a wide array of produce and products on display, from fresh fish to sausage rolls, from preserves to profiteroles, it's a hunger-inducing job photographing the Poundbury Farmers' Market

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Poundbury farmers' market - a photo essay

Top Speciality meats like saucisson are to be found at Poundbury Famrers' Market. Above More traditional meats, in the form of sausages, are also on displayâ&#x20AC;Ś and for tasting Left One half of the 'Baking Birds' seeks a little support during one of the windier moments of the farmers' market Below Everyone has a quick look around at what is on offer at the other stalls before Poundbury Famrers' Market is fully open.

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The Curiosities of Dorchester A pictorial look at just some of the curious items that can be found around town Wander round the streets and public spaces of Dorchester and one is often seized with a sense of curiosity. 'Who was the man memorialised here?', 'why is that statue there?', 'what's behind those walls?' or indeed 'what on earth is that doing there?' are all questions that inquisitive visitors or indeed residents may pose to themselves. Here are some answers. Tolpuddle plaque & Milestone On the buildings which house Dorchester's courtrooms, are two items which show the different historical sides of Dorchester. The first (below) is a plaque to the memory of the six Tolpuddle Martyrs provided by the Agricultural Group of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU, now Unite). Inscribed in the plaque (along with references to other anti-worker atrocities) are the third to sixth lines of the second verse of the 'Freedom Song' thrown by George Loveless into the crowd after the men's trial: ' By reason, union, justice, law, We claim the birthright of our sires; We raise the watchword ‘Liberty’ We will, we will, we will be free!'

The second object visible on the wall, at the other end of the building is a rather less controversial one: a milestone (below). Dorchester, as county town, is not only centre of government of the county (as evidenced by the distance to Hyde Park Corner in the national capital), but also a place which is central to the county (pre-1974) in geographical terms.

Tale of two fountains Children may be most enamoured of the new fountains in Brewery Square for their soaking potential, but Dorchester has another couple of water features with their own special significance. The fountain (right) on the corner of Princes Street and Somerleigh Road is a 'Roman' fountain, to mark the spot – or rather more accurately if less precisely, the area – to which the Roman aqueduct delivered water from the Frome at Frampton into the town of Durnovaria. It may memorialise the Romans' engineering skill, but it was only erected in 2003. The other fountain pictured (above) pays tribute to a man who combined the virtues of Dick Whittington and Frank Sinatra's New York, New York. He was Alderman George John Gregory Gregory (so good they named him twice) who was not thrice, but five-times Mayor of Dorchester. In his last year of office (1895) he bought the land for what is now the Jubilee Gardens. 11


Curiosities of Dorchester German memorial Many towns have a memorial to those from the town who died in World War 1, but few have a plaque in memory of those prisoners from Germany who equally lost their lives far from home. This rather beautiful memorial is tucked away on the side of the cemetery at St George's church, Fordington. Not gazing over the dead of the town – it is shielded from those visiting the locals' gravestones, but rather wistfully facing north-east towards Germany.

Roofless building/Walled garden When is a roofless building not a roofless building? When it is a walled garden. Walking down Grey School Passage opposite Trinity Street, one becomes aware of what looks like a ruined building… in fact that's precisely what it is, but whilst a building may have been what it was, it has, thanks to its roofless nature, taken on a new role, as a walled garden.

Town Pump Appropriately enough, perhaps, this local landmark promoting the town's heritage is itself the starting point of many walks promoting the town's heritage, just showing that nostalgia is not a new business in Dorchester. Back in 1784, this monolith (described as a shaft with five vermiculated projecting stone bands on a square base, with a round lower base) was once the location of the town pump. It commemorates the site of the even more ancient Cupola or Market House. Dorset shepherd The Dorset poet (in fact the quintessential Dorset poet), William Barnes, is immortalised in statue form outside the Dorset County Museum, but his characterisation of Dorset lore and its bucolic life as captured in his poem The Shepherd o' the Farm has been made flesh – or rather its flesh made in metal – in Durngate Street, with which the Barnes family had a close association, by sculptor John Doubleday. 12


13


Fair- and foul-weather friend Kris Dutson's powerful images rely on an intimate knowledge of the county, as well as a love of light, composition, perspective and Dorset's dramatic skies

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Opposite top A late spring view from the road to Eggardon Hill across to Pilsdon Pen and Lewesdon Hill

Right December sunset over a jetty on the Fleet near Chickerell

Opposite bottom A sunset view down the lane to Compton Valence

It is fair to say that photographer Kris Dutson took the slightly long-way round when it came to arriving at his current career. He studied meteorology after leaving school, but ended up not as a weather forecaster, but selling electric motors in Sussex. The Compton Valence-based photographer, who was a regular feature at Dorchester market for five years, moved here with his family, both for the landscape and the quality of life: 'I dabbled in photography for getting on for 40 years. Both my wife and I come from the

A rare view of Kris Dutson from the other side of the camera

countryside originally and we were prepared to take a big gamble on coming down here. 'We left Sussex because we'd had enough of "working for the man"; we knew we were never going to be rich doing this, but we wanted our kids to grow up as we had, and it was the hills to the west of Dorchester which attracted me to this area. 'I used to live near the South Downs,' Kris recalls, 'and you'd drive over the downs and bang, you'd be in Brighton and that was that. Around here [meaning the area around 15


Above Sunset just off the Roman Road across the West Dorset hills between Hampton and Compton Valence Below A clearing storm at Corfe Castle

Dorchester], you can climb up a hill and down into a valley and not see anyone.' Then there are the photographic and meteorological reasons why Kris moved first to Wynford Eagle and then to Compton Valence: 'You'll often get to the top of a hill and all you can see are the mucky grey bottoms of the clouds, but when you move down into the valleys you get the fluffy white clouds with sunlight behind them.' Dorset has other attractions for the weather-savvy photographer: ' Because of the way our landscape faces, there are seaside sunsets and sunrises (with the sun over the sea), but only in the spring and autumn and winter, once the visitors have gone away.' In fact Kris often has people doubt the veracity of his work, saying 'The sun never goes there.' His response is 'Yes it does, just not at the time of year you're in Dorset.' Because of the way he composes his pictures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; knowing where the sun will be months ahead of time using the Photographer's Ephemeris (a computer based almanac of sunrise and sunset positions for any time of any year), Kris knows what an image will look like â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and where he needs to be to capture it. The rest is a matter of knowing how to choose the right lens for the desired perspective, the right height, the perfect aspect ratio (how wide an image is compared to how high it is) and the right exposure to capture the moodiness of the shadows and the brightness of the light. Then it is only a matter of the weather behaving in the right way on the day! To see more of Kiris Dutson's work, visit www.southernscenicphotography.co.uk

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Why I love…

Antelope Walk Home to an eclectic mix of independent stores, this historic passageway is one of Dorchester's hidden gems. Patrons and traders explains why they love it.

Becki Gaches: florist It's a really nice walk, and all enjoy working here. It's a friendly atmosphere; everyone knows everyone and says hello to one another. There's a selection of food shops, and it's really light and airy. From a commercial perspective it's always busy and the mix of shops means there's something for everyone.

Kim White: patron I use the TIC at the top, get a pasty, go into Joshua's for gifts, browse in the vintage store, go into Naturalife; my son goes to the barbers opposite the TIC, my kids get their shoes from County Shoes. All in all it's quite a collection of shops in just 25 yards. They're all quite nicely done and cosy and you feel like you get really personal service when you shop here.

Paetra and Amy Withnall (and Bessie): patrons I think Antelope Walk is like the Lanes in Brighton: lots of beautiful stores and great places to eat. We love the Loft as they let you bring your dogs in and they do funky food that anyone can eat… and they serve Illy coffee. The clothes shops are great and there's a wonderful cook shop and a great healthfood shop.

Shirley Ryan: Lingerie store owner We've been here for ten years and it's a really nice atmosphere between all the traders; I'll pop into Elaine next door to borrow tissue paper and vice versa, and the whole walk gets together for a charity day to raise funds for charity. As an individual, I make a point of using all the other independent stores and from a positioning point of view we're perfectly placed between Figure 8 and Owen & Simpson; we've got really nice customers: women from January to November… and then their husbands in December!

21


Read any good books lately? Whatever your opinion of West Dorset DC’s move to its new offices in Charles Street, an undisputed benefit has been the opening of a new Dorchester Library and Learning Centre. John Newth has visited it. Forty years ago, the then new Dorchester Library in Colliton Park, opposite County Hall, was the latest word in library design. Much has happened since, not least a complete re-think of what libraries are for and how they should present themselves, plus a huge growth in the population of Dorchester. In addition, the building has been showing its age, with a leaking flat roof and other structural defects making difficulties for staff and readers alike. For more than half those forty years, on the other side of Dorchester’s town centre, the problem of what to do with Charles Street has seen a series of hopeful plans, heated debates and bitter disappointments. The idea of creating a new home for West Dorset DC on the southern side ran into opposition as fierce as that to all the previous schemes, but a proposal did at last come to fruition and South Walks House was finished at the end of last year. This was good news for Dorchester Library, because there was room at the western end of the development to create an entirely new library, which came into use in July. It provides between 50% and 60% more floor-area than the old library did, so there are not only 20% more books – 43,000 of them – but a pleasant environment and space for holding events. The move was so well planned that the library was closed for less than two weeks. It is run by two Library Managers, Nikki Blair and Sharon Mitchell, who work well as a team, having first met years ago when they were waiting to be interviewed for a job at Weymouth Library! They are both comparatively new to Dorchester, and they and their team of fifteen permanent staff have found the learning curve of settling into their new premises a genuinely exciting challenge. As you enter the glass-fronted building, you 22

The attractive and spacious children’s area on the upper ground floor

immediately meet a new concept in libraries, a ‘quick choice’ area. Here are representatives of all types of book, chosen so that someone who wants a new book but does not have time for extensive browsing can find it and be in and out in a matter of minutes. The help desk and the magazines are on this floor, too. Rising from it is a modern but elegantly curving staircase – ‘Coming down it feels like something out of Gone with the Wind!’ jokes Nikki. The staircase emerges onto the upper ground floor, which is mostly devoted to adult fiction, including talking books and large-print. Beyond the fiction is the area called Head Space, dedicated to teenagers. Here are comfortable seats, a plasma screen for Wii games and computers, as well as appropriate books. Rowdiness is an occupational hazard of teenagers, but it has not been a problem yet – ‘Give them the right facilities and the right atmosphere and there’s no reason why it should be,’ insists Sharon. At the far end is the children’s section, which has likewise been designed and decorated to give the most welcoming first impression possible to its potential users. Other users of the library may be pleased to know that the acoustics of the building have a remarkably effective


Dorchester's new library deadening effect on extraneous noise like squeals of delight coming from the children’s section. The library has even hosted a drumming workshop! The atmosphere on the top floor is rather more serene and traditional, holding as it does the reference books, local history and other nonfiction, and the newspapers. Even here, though, the bookshelves are in the centre and there is room for tables and chairs round the outside, next to the large picture windows. A vending machine completes the feeling of a literary café. It helps that the shelving units are only head-high; although so designed to be wheelchair-friendly, it means that they are not oppressive or over-imposing. The wish to be a true community library is reflected in the fact that groups can hire space for their meetings and are charged only modest fees to cover caretaking and other costs. An example is the Dorchester Community Play, for whom the library is an ideal rehearsal venue. Space can sometimes be available during the day, and certainly on Wednesday afternoons and in the evenings, when the library is closed. Much of the space takes the form of six classrooms, because this is not only a library but the Dorchester Learning Centre, which has moved here from its previous home in Prince of Wales Road, and which delivers adult education for the area. This could be anything from literacy and numeracy classes for those who left school with reading, writing or calculating difficulties to evening classes in Italian. The relationship between the library and the learning centre is a natural and logical one, from which both sides draw benefit. Undoubtedly the biggest change in libraries in recent years has been how they have had to extend their horizons beyond books. Dorchester Library has a substantial collection of CDs and DVDs, as well as fourteen computers for public use. It also offers free

The striking exterior of the new Library and Learning Centre

wi-fi. Traditionalists may be heartened, though, by Nikki Blair’s belief that the proportion of people using libraries for books is actually growing. The new Dorchester Library and Learning Centre has got off to a terrific start, helped in no small measure by its initiative called Summer Reading Challenge, under which a child who read six books over the summer holidays received a medal and certificate. Whereas the old building had perhaps 250-300 visitors a day, 1000 people have passed through the doors of the new library on some days. This number will no doubt fall away as the novelty wears off, but its more attractive appearance and very central position are sure to mean that it is a lot more popular than its predecessor. Above all, it will provide Dorchester with a library service appropriate to the town’s size.

Dorchester Library’s opening hours are: Monday 10.00-17.30; Tuesday 9.30-19.00; Wednesday 9.3013.00; Thursday 9.30-17.30; Friday 9.30-19.00; Saturday 9.00-16.00. For more e-information about libraries visit www.dorsetforyou.com/libraries

The open ceiling and large picture windows give the top floor a lot of character

23


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culinary dorchester

Feeling hungry? Join us on a virtual whistle-stop restaurant and café crawl to see what the public thinks is the best that’s on offer in the way of food in Dorchester.

Dorset's only Michelin-starred and three-rosette restaurant: Sienna

Dorchester has an impressive, and impressively diverse, collection of eateries for a town of its size. For those who prefer their dining experiences with a well-known name attached, Brewery Square can offer a quartet of household names, but Dorchester is also home to an eclectic range of independent eateries, catering to a wide range of tastes. From a traditional tea, served by waitresses in black uniforms, to shabby-chic, from fish and chips to snails and chips, from French cuisine to Thai dining, from the fifteen-cover maximum of Dorset’s only Michelinstarred restaurant to a 3264 square feet Leviathan, from loft-style chic, to thatched-cottage tradition, Dorchester boast’s eateries of all flavours. From the public reviews on eatery-advice website Tripadvisor, the reviews for the top fifteen restaurants in the Dorchester area – which have secured over 20 reviews for their food and not just for beverages or service and style – show that the empirical evidence backs up the theory. There are two perhaps unsurprisingly fine-dining establishments which occupy the top slots: High Street West’s Sienna (1) and Lower Bockhampton’s Yalbury Cottage (2); there are four cafés/bistros/restaurants in the shape of Café Paninis (3), Taste (9), Potter’s Café Bistro (11) and No 6 restaurant (12); the Old Tea House

at (4) flies the flag for the traditional English tearoom; two Thai restaurants – The King and Thai (5) and Thai Nakorn (8) are well inside the top ten; a crêperie – Mr Crêpe’s Cuisine(6) is perhaps a surprise appearance, while, perhaps more predictably, there are two pubs – Charminster’s Gamekeeper Dining and Ale House (7) and the Blue Raddle (14); there are two Indian restuarants – Rajpoot (10) and Masala (15) and finally (in reaturanttype terms) a family-run Italian restaurant with Breakfast of champions? Dorchester dining legend Franco’s La Caverna (13). A nice illustration of the What is interesting when reading the reviews is traditional and modern the range of reasons why people had a favourite. cuisine available in One venue got top marks (from different visitors) Dorchester for providing a pre-marathon specific breakfast, and for having gluten-free knowledgeable staff, another got high praise for its soup. Once for its simple food served in a calm atmosphere, another for its simple food served in vibrant atmosphere. Perhaps the old Latin motto is an appropriate place to conclude. De gustibus non disputandum est is literally translated as ‘good taste cannot be disputed’; figuratively it is taken to mean ‘taste is a matter of taste… and so argument is pointless’… that doesn’t mean that within Dorchester, for every restaurant type and indeed venue, there will not be fans and boo-boys. The good news is that there are plenty of places on which hopefully two people can compromise.

Taste Dorchester: one of a number of restaurants offering a fresh new approach to eating out

25


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Where to go what to see Events and attractions in and around Dorchester Keep Museum

Richard Budd

The home of more than 300 years of martial history, the Keep Military Museum tells the story of soldiering in Dorset from the Duke of Monmouth’s landing in Lyme Regis in 1685 to the amalgamation of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment into The Rifles in 2007. Using modern digital technology as well as traditional displays and battle tableaux, it is home to invaluable research materials and fascinating objects that reveal the courage, humour and sacrifice of serving soldiers and their families. Dorset’s soldiers have seen action all over the world, from their own county, throughout Europe to the Middle East and India, as well as Africa and the New Worlds. Dorset men fought with distinction in both World Wars, significantly at Gallipoli, the Somme and D-Day. In the modern era, Falklands War hero Colonel H Jones VC served in the Devon and Dorsets until April 1981.The Keep’s constituent regiments are the Dorset Regiment, the Devonshire Regiment, the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, Dorset Yeomanry, the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry, Dorset Militia, the Royal Devon Yeomanry and 94 Field Regiment RA. Mon-Sat 10.00 (from 1 October Tues-Fri) 01305 264066, www.keepmilitarymuseum.org

Dorset County Museum Meet the Weymouth Bay Pliosaur and discover Dorset’s real dinosaurs in the Jurassic Coast gallery. Discover ancient artefacts in the Archaeology Gallery and see the skeletons of the Britons brutally slain at Maiden Castle. Visit the atmospheric Victorian Gallery, one of the few places in Europe you can walk on Roman mosaic floors. Explore the lives of Dorset’s literary greats - see Thomas Hardy’s study and the world’s most important Hardy collection. This autumn Dorset County Museum is also holding two exciting temporary exhibitions. ANIMATE! (until 19 October) explores the story of animation, from Victorian flick books to complex modern 3D digital cartoons. [Felix pictured here] The Museum will also host Alfred Russel Wallace: A Centenary Celebration (from 30 September) which provides a rare opportunity to see its entire collection of 80 bird skins from the pioneering naturalist’s Malay Archipelago trip in 1854-55. Mon-Sat, 10.00 01305 262735, dorsetcountymusuem.org

Max Gate An imposing town house, Max Gate was Thomas Hardy’s home from 1885 and designed by the writer to establish his credentials as a member of polite society. It was here that he wrote much of his poetry as well as many of his best-known novels including Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Jude the Obscure. Although many of Hardy’s possessions had gone by the time the National Trust took ownership of Max Gate, there are some significant items of memorabilia including a writing desk and items from friends and correspondents including TE Lawrence, Yeats and the Prince of Wales. Every other Friday and Saturday from 13 September until the end of October, Max Gate is home to artist in residence Tim Laycock who hosts informal poetry and music afternoons from 1.00. Wed-Sun, 11.00 01305 262538, www.national-trust.org.uk/max-gate/ 27


Dorchester Arts Centre Long established as Dorchester’s only theatrical venue, for more than thirty years the Arts Centre has been at the heart of the town’s cultural life, driving arts events from outdoor extravaganzas to community exhibitions and street theatre. Its autumn season is as diverse as ever. Catherine Shipton (from TV’s Casualty) stars in Sarah Daniels’ moving Soldiers’ Wives (4 October), in which five women on an army base are forced to confront some painful truths; while Susannah Freeman performs the one-woman show, Floating (12 October) about a high-dependency Nurse on the frontline of the NHS. Tom Stoppard’s bawdy

adaptation of Gérald Sibleygras’s Olivier Award-winning Heroes is brought to Dorchester by Somerleigh Players (24-26 October). Later in the year, cricket fans will be delighted to see Blowers, the inimitable Henry Blofeld - pictured here (23 November), on stage recounting all manner of cricket-related tales as well as of encounters with Noel Coward, Ian Fleming and Clive Dunn. Michael Gray, author of definitive books on Bob Dylan and his work, presents an illustrated talk, 'Bob Dylan and the History of Rock ’n’ Roll' on 9 November; Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman showcase their West Country roots music on 14 November. 01305 266926, www.dorchesterarts.org.uk

Dorchester Plaza: National Theatre & Bolshoi Ballet Live Dorchester's historic (but air-conditioned) cinema, in addition to the usual run of contemporary films shown on its four screens, shows a selection of transmitted films, plays and ballets from the National Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet. Over the next couple of months (from publication until midNovember) there are seven such shows (five of which still have tickets available to book) to watch at the Plaza. Bolshoi Ballet Live: Spartacus 20 October, 4.00 Khachaturian’s most famous work, and one of the greatest ballets in the Bolshoi repertoire since the 1960s. A production with spectacular choreography and scenery, Yuri Grigorovich’s version remains the most critically acclaimed NT Live: Hamlet 22 October, 7.00 Rory Kinnear plays Hamlet. He is joined by Claire Higgins (Gertrude), Patrick Malahide (Claudius), David Calder (Polonius), James Laurenson (Ghost/Player) and Ruth Negga (Ophelia). NT Live: Frankenstein 31 October, 7.00 Jonny Lee Miller as the monster, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Frankenstein NT Live: Frankenstein 12 November, 7.00 Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster, Jonny Lee Miller as Dr Frankenstein Bolshoi Ballet Live: Le Corsaire 17 November, 3.00 A sumptuous ballet inspired by Lord Byron’s poem 01305 262488. www.plazadorchester.com.

Maiden Castle With more than 4000 years of history, from a Neolithic causeway to a small Roman temple built in the fourth century AD, Maiden Castle is one of the largest and most complex hill forts in Europe. At its Iron Age peak its ramparts provided protection for several hundred dwellers and excavations have revealed a burial ground in which many seem to have died from horrific injuries, possibly sustained during a Roman attack on the fort that precipitated its evacuation. Mon-Sun, Daylight hours (until 31 March) 0870 333 1181, www.english-heritage.org.uk

Dinosaur Museum

Terracotta Warriors Museum,

Hardy’s Birthplace

Every day; 9.30-5.30. £6.99; children £5.50; child under 3 yrs free; seniors and students £5.99. The only museum in mainland Britain solely devoted to dinosaurs. 01305 269880. www.thedinosaurmuseum.com

Every day; 10.00-5.00. £5.99; child £4.99; child under 5 yrs free; seniors and students £4.99. One of the only museums outside China exclusively devoted to the Terracotta Warriors. 01305 266040. www.terracottawarriors.co.uk

To 3 November Wed – Sun and Bank Holiday Mondays; 11.00-5.00. £5.50; child £2.50. The tiny cob and thatch cottage where the great Dorset writer was born and spent his childhood. 01297 489481/01305 262366. nationaltrust.org.uk/hardys-birthplace

Teddy Bear Museum

Tutankhamun Exhibition

Kingston Maurward Gardens

Every day, 10.00-5.00. £5.99; children £3.99; child under 3 yrs free; seniors and students £4.99. From the earliest antique teddy bears to today’s TV favourites. 01305 266040. teddybearmuseum.co.uk

Every day; 10.00-5.00. £7.99; child £5.99; child under 5 yrs free; seniors and students £6.99. A spectacular re-creation of Tutankhamun's tomb and treasures. 01305 269571. www.tutankhamun-exhibition.co.uk.

Every day; 10.00-5.30. £5.50; seniors £5; child £3; child under 3 yrs free. Formal gardens in the Arts and Crafts style and ‘Jardin Anglais’ style parkland with ponies, pigs and other animals. 01305 215003. www.kmc.ac.uk/gardens

28


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The Roman Town House, Dorchester The best preserved fully exposed example of a Roman Town House in Britain â&#x20AC;˘ Audioguide accessible by mobile phone, details on site. â&#x20AC;˘ Guided tours for groups or individuals can be made with Dorset County Museum - 01305 262735

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Credit is secured against your home. *Subject to status, Help to Buy Terms & Conditions and available on selected properties in England only. Eligible applicants will be offered an equity loan up to a maximum of 20% of the purchase price (based on the open market value). Applicants are required to fund at least 80% of the purchase price by means of a conventional mortgage, savings/deposit where required. The equity loan is provided by the HCA and held as a second charge. This offer is not available in conjunction with any other promotion. Full details will be provided on request. †On selected homes only. Subject to status, terms and conditions apply. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Details and prices correct at time of going to press. Computer generated image shows homes at Lorton Gardens. Photographs show a typical Linden Homes interior and the local area.

30


Dorchester's property scene Local experts reveal what's going on, in and around Dorchester The past

few months has seen news of a more buoyant property scene nationally and there is certainly evidence of interest from buyers increasing locally too. The Dorchester area has an array of properties available for sale – both in the Brewery Square development, and in Poundbury, as well as more rural developments. Where these are new-build developments, the government-backed 'Help to Buy' scheme can be a help to those with a limited amounnt of savings. With a minimum deposit of 5% of the purchase price, buyers need to clear the pre-qualification process and mortgage application (a conventional mortgage for 75% of the purchase price is needed) and, subject to approval, the Government will lend up to 20% of the purchase price through an equity loan. The 5% deposit and a reservation fee of £500-£1000 are needed to complete the purchase of a new-build home. A new development, between Weymouth and Dorchester, for example, has a selection of three- and four-bedroom homes (from £250,000 to £347,000). In terms of existing homes, the market is beginning to firm up, with enquiry levels for properties increasing, and hopefully the period of time between houses reaching the market and completing will come down as more funds become available to borrowers looking to move up the housing ladder. As far as lettings are concerned, according to Barrie George of Dorset Lettings: 'the market for rental properties remains buoyant; it has increased throughout the year, particularly for two- and threebedroom houses. 'There remains,' he adds, 'a general shortage of properties, with many short-term and opportunistic landlords deciding to sell over the past twelve months as cheap 100% mortgage terms expire. The short-term and medium term outlook is more positive with the Buy-to-Let sector showing strong signs of recovery,' he reveals, 'prompted by more competitive mortgage products and a more positive outlook on the prospects of the housing market and the recent speech by the newly appointed Governor of the Bank of England. Investment in Buy-to-Let property is likely to be more committed and sustained compared to the "quick buck" investment prompted by the cheap 100% mortgages available in the mid 2000s. Property is seen as an attractive mediumand long-term investment with the rate of returns and capital growth growing as the housing market recovery gains momentum.' Katherine and MaryLou from TempleHill Property Management in Dorchester state that they too 'have a high number of enquiries, particularly for family homes in Dorchester and its surrounding villages.'

One example they cite is in the village of Broadmayne, is finished to a high standard and has driveway parking for four cars. 'Demand,' they add, 'for all types of homes in this area is always high, which is quite understandable when you consider what it has to offer, and enquiries far outweigh the properties available.' Whatever the broader outlook for the general economy brings, it seems clear that the property market, if not wide-awake, is certainly stirring from its four-year-long slumber.

Good quality family homes, like this fourbedroomed property in Broadmayne, are in short supply on the residential lettings market

There are a number of new developments going on in and around Dorchester, like this one in Lorton Gardens between Dorchester and Weymouth, for which the 'Help to Buy' scheme can let buyers – even those without a 25% deposit – to get sufficient finance to buy their new home.

31


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One of the Colliton Park mosaics with its characteristically sophistiated geometric border patterns

Villas and Mosaics What did the Romans ever do for Dorchester? The evidence is, quite a lot, but only some of it can still be seen. The Greeks and Romans knew of the people in the Dorchester area before Dorchester itself existed; two mentions of the Iron Age Durotriges (and one of Durotrages) are on record before the tribes of Dorset were conquered. Julius Caesar had dipped a toe into the invasion of what is now the British Isles in 55BC and again in 54BC, but overran only parts of the South-East. It was 89 years later when at the instructions of Claudius, four Legions came to Britain to start the full conquest, one of which – that commanded by the future Emperor Vespasian, took to conquering westwards, including what is now the county (including the county town) of Dorset. This was a large undertaking – a Roman fortress site of an area of nearly 30 acres was surveyed near Wimborne. After the Roman invader had pacified the Durotriges, Dorset became increasingly Romanised, and the impact lasted for over 350 years and evidence of this is all around the town of Durnovaria (founded roughly around AD70), later to be called Dorchester. These adornments and additions to the town were not solely for the Romans themselves – the military had moved on to other conquests after two decades, but a means of improving the lives of the heads of important local tribes and Romanising them. As archaeologist Bill Putnam memorably put it: 'Once possessed of beautiful villas, steam baths,

and the other trappings of Roman civilisation, the princes of the Durotriges were scarcely likely to lead a movement advocating a rebellious return to the windswept hilltop of Maiden Castle.' So what is there left in Dorchester and beyond to show the presence of the Romans? The answer lies in three parts: on the ground, below the ground and above ground. On the ground one sees evidence of the Roman amphitheatre at Maumbury Rings – repurposed from an existing henge site in a precocious demonstration of recycling which continued right up to the end

The Roman Town House complex at Colliton Park behind County Hall

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The interior of the Town House is protected from the worst excesses of the weather by an openglazed wall system

A section of Roman wall which once surrounded the town of Durnovaria

of the 19th century by locals using much of the Romano-British built structures as a handily placed source of building supplies – at the Colliton Park Roman Town House site, on the floor of the Dorset County museum (to where a mosaic, discovered in Olga Road in 1899 was relocated) and in the shape of the aqueduct at Poundbury, contouring the hill to bring the Frome's water from Frampton to Durnovaria. Of things surviving above ground, there are few: a Roman milestone found at Allington (although possibly not originally from there) a Roman headstone in St George's church in Fordington and a stretch of

Roman wall just as Albert Road turns into the West Walks. While underground (west of Icen way and north of Wolaston Road) are the remains of Roman baths. A four-week project in 2011, on the site of the new library and council office buildings, discovered evidence of later Roman inhabitation, including Roman wall foundations and the layout of a building. Back at Colliton Park, a couple of the most fascinating elements of the town house – built close to the edge of The Grove with what must have been one of the best views in Roman Britain – are its under-floor heating and its mosaic floors. The former shows why a return to hill-top living might have been an unlikely choice, while the latter is evidence of one of the more long-lasting and culturally important legacies of Roman occupation of the town. Durnovaria is thought to have been the location of one mosaic officina (the equivalent to a school of painting) whose works can be found as far afield as Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. The Durnovarian officina specialised in producing mosaics of mythological beings (for example Venus rising from the sea) and interlocking guilloche (the plait-like borders), and also producers of the only known face of Christ in a mosaic pavement (from Hinton St Mary near Sturminster Newton). These artistic works – as can be inferred from the Christian subject matter, date from the later stages of the Roman period, in the 3rd and 4th century. Whilst much of the internationally important Durnovarian officina works have been removed, the floor of the Roman Town House shows the level of quality of work that was installed in a private residence in the 4th century. Interestingly, the mosaic floor at the Town House in Colliton Park is from a specific artist, two of whose works including this one are known. His speciality was in keeping the borders the same size, which necessitated advanced mathematical calculations in determining the interior portions of his complex mosaics. The peak of output of both the Durnovarian and Lindinian officina (an offshoot of the Durnovarian officina at Ilchester, known as Lindinis) was in the middle years of the 4th century. Walking around Dorchester – particularly to the hidden jewel that is the Roman Town House behind County Hall, one gets glimpses of Dorchester as it was nearly two millennia ago. It is perhaps a matter of frustration for archaeologists that so little tangible remains of those times – everything else having been built on or used to rebuild the town over the years, but there is something tantalisingly compelling about the fragments of history on the streets of Dorchester, even without the explanations of the interpretation boards on the streets. For more information on the influence of the Romans in Dorchester and around Dorset – as well as the county's archeological/geological history, visit the Dorset County Museum on High Street West or online at (www.dorsetcountymuseum.org). Visit the Roman Town House behind County Hall or at www.dorsetforyou.com/roman-town-house

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Dorchester Practice Now Open The practice offers a full range of Specialist Dentistry for patients from all over Dorset, helping your dentist maintain and restore your smile. The state of the art clinic has the latest equipment and luxury facilities with an onsite laboratory. We have a dedicated team of highly acclaimed specialists covering all fields of dentistry.  South Coast Dental Specialists, Avenue House, South Walks Road, Dorchester DT1 1DT. 01305 757570

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Dorset Life in Dorchester 2013  
Dorset Life in Dorchester 2013  

A high-quality glossy magazine made in Dorset for Dorchester residents

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