The historic walled market town of Wareham is approx 5 miles north of Corfe Castle on the A351 and offers some interesting shops, restaurants, pubs and take-aways, there’s also an independent Cinema.
How old is Wareham?
Archeological evidence suggests the site of Wareham have been occupied and used for over 10,000 years. Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery and worked flint has been found, along with evidence of a Roman Settlement — but the current town was founded by the Saxons.
A great fire in 1762 destroyed over half of the town and what we see today was rebuilt using red brick and local Purbeck limestone.
The main streets through Wareham align North, East, South and West, with the Quay at the southern end of the town and offers a great place to relax and watch the world go by.
Behind the Quay is the old church of St. Mary which houses a coffin dating to 978, said to be that of Edward The Martyr (see Corfe Castle history). Edward the Martyrs remains were laid to rest in Wareham and later taken to Shaftesbury Abby in North Dorset.
St Martin’s Church at the end of North Street dates from 1030 and was used as a shelter during the great fire of 1762. The church is of interested as it houses a stone effigy of T. E. Laurence (Lawrence of Arabia).
If you’re feeling energetic, you can hire a boats at the quay or catch the seasonal ferry to Poole. There’s also a number of short and longer walks around the earth banked walls (ramparts) with views across the rivers Frome and Piddle.
Travel to Wareham
You can easily reach Wareham from Corfe Castle via the A351 or the No. 40 Bus. See How to Get here for more information.