The top of the downs from above Cerne Abbas, looking south east towards the River Piddle valley
Part of the Roman town house near County Hall, showing the underfloor heating system
Map of Dorset, including the Dorset Downs, showing the geology
Judge Jeffreys' lodging house, now a restaurant, in High West Street
The Frome estuary at Wareham
Shire Hall in High West Street, where the trial of the Tolpuddle martyrs took place
A 1937 map of Dorchester
The River Frome on the edge of the town
Statue of Thomas Hardy beside The Grove, north of High West Street
Dorset County Museum
Church of St Peter
Dorchester Library and Learning Centre
Dorchester South railway station

A historic market town, Dorchester is on the banks of the River Frome to the south of the Dorset Downs and north of the South Dorset Ridgeway that separates the area from Weymouth, 7 mi to the south.

- Dorchester, Dorset

The river rises in the Dorset Downs at Evershot, passes through Maiden Newton, Dorchester, West Stafford and Woodsford.

- River Frome, Dorset

From the northern scarp face, the hills dip gently southwards before the chalk disappears beneath the Bagshot Beds which form the heathlands of the county, between Dorchester and Wareham.

- Dorset Downs

South of the River Frome, the chalk reappears in a narrower strip, forming coastal cliffs east of Weymouth and, further east, the steep ridge of the Purbeck Hills.

- Dorset Downs
The top of the downs from above Cerne Abbas, looking south east towards the River Piddle valley

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Corfe Castle, captured and destroyed by Cromwell's army in 1646

Dorset

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County in South West England on the English Channel coast.

County in South West England on the English Channel coast.

Corfe Castle, captured and destroyed by Cromwell's army in 1646
Geological map of Dorset
Durdle Door, a natural arch near Lulworth Cove
The beach near Bournemouth Pier. Dorset's coastline is a major attraction for tourists.
The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester
Traction engines on display at the Great Dorset Steam Fair
Thomas Hardy
Sherborne Abbey

The county town is Dorchester, in the south.

These limestone areas include a wide band of Cretaceous chalk which crosses the county as a range of hills from north-east to south-west, incorporating Cranborne Chase and the Dorset Downs, and a narrow band running from south-west to south-east, incorporating the Purbeck Hills.

These vales are dotted with small villages, farms and coppices, and include the Blackmore Vale (Stour valley) and Frome valley.