The trail is primarily used for walking and nature … It became a higher education institute in 2001 and was given degree-awarding powers in 2008. Maiden Castle was captured by a Roman legion under the command of Vespasian, and the Roman settlement of Durnovaria was established nearby. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210. Over a five-day period in Dorchester, Judge Jeffreys presided over 312 cases: 74 of the accused were executed, 175 were transported, and nine were publicly whipped. [260] George III gave permission to erect the building on the condition that it resembled a garden mausoleum rather than a church. Due to this, South Dorset is the perfect holiday destination for fossil hunting, or simply to explore the fascinating history of the area. Cattle and pig farming has declined similarly; during the same period the number of cattle fell from 240,413 to 170,700, and pigs from 169,636 to 72,700. The Romans conquered Dorset's indigenous Celtic tribe, and during the Early Middle Ages, the Saxons settled the area and made Dorset a shire in the 7th century. [270] Dorset has two higher education establishments situated in the heart of the county's south east conurbation. [210][211] Children’s author Enid Blyton drew inspiration for many of her works from Dorset. Much of the area falls into the stunning area of the River Stour Valley, which is called the Blackmoor Vale. [254], Monastic foundations were once abundant in Dorset, but all ceased to exist at the Dissolution of the monasteries. [217] All three colours are used in Dorset County Council's coat of arms and the red and white was used in recognition of the English flag. [82], A former river valley flooded by rising sea levels 6,000 years ago, Poole Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. [153] Dorset's three ports, Poole, Weymouth and Portland, and the smaller harbours of Christchurch, Swanage, Lyme Regis, Wareham and West Bay generate a substantial amount of international trade and tourism. [271] Previously named Bournemouth Polytechnic, it was granted university status as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The harbour is very shallow in places and contains a number of islands, notably Brownsea Island, the birthplace of the Scouting movement and one of the few remaining sanctuaries for indigenous red squirrels in England. Non-League semi-professional teams in the county include Southern Premier Division teams Dorchester Town F.C., Poole Town F.C. You can find your own Jurassic Park on beaches sprinkled with fossils and smuggler's caves or trace Thomas Hardy novels on open heaths and vales. Dorset (/ˈdɔːrsɪt/; archaically: Dorsetshire) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. [121] For the BCP council, voters choose 76 councillors from 33 wards, with ten wards returning three candidates apiece and 23 wards, two. Other towns in Dorset include Bournemouth, Poole, Weymouth, Christchurch, Ferndown, Wimborne Minster, Bridport, Verwood, and Blandford Forum. [202][203] The National Trust owns Thomas Hardy's Cottage, in Higher Bockhampton, east of Dorchester; and Max Gate, his former house in Dorchester. [36] However, the industrial revolution largely bypassed Dorset which lacked coal resources and as a consequence the county remained predominantly agricultural. [131] The borough constituencies of Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West and Poole are traditionally Conservative safe seats and are all represented by Conservative members of parliament. Other main roads in the county include the A338, A354, A37 and A350. The venue was completed in May 2009 and was used by international sailing teams in preparation for the Games. 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