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Historical Market Town in East Dorset
Wimborne Minster – or more simply known as Wimborne to the locals, the town is an attractive market town in East Dorset. Many of the original buildings in the town centre have been preserved due to of planning restrictions. The local planning policy has restricted the construction of new buildings in in order to preserve the character of this historic market town. The Cornmarket and the High Street, for example, have retained almost all of the original building facades dating back as far as Tudor times . The most interesting examples of English architecture include the old Town hall which was built during the 19th Century, the Priest's House Museum and dozens of original 16th, 17th and 18th century fronted shops and pubs.
Location & geography
Located in the North of Dorset and West of the New Forset National Park, Wimborne is a town and a parish in the diocese of Salisbury. The town stands at the confluence of the rivers Allen and Stour, adjacent to the Somerset and Dorset railway, 6 miles North of Poole.
It has good road links to both Southampton & the Southwest, sitting as it does on the A31.
A bit of history
• Wimborne has a rich history dating back to Edward the Confessor who founded a collegiate church after the town was sacked by the Danes in about 1015. Edward founded the church on the site of what was then a combined nunnery and monastery. This eventually became a Minster and served to ‘administering’ to the people of the Town.
• The architecture of Wimborne is regarded as some of the foremost collections of 15th, 16th and 17th century buildings in Dorset.
• An 1823/24 the business directory of Wimborne lists three fire agents in the town. These agents were responsible for selling insurance, which allowed for attendance of the fire brigade should the policy-holder’s property be on fire. Prior to publicly-run fire brigades, fire-fighters would only attend the fires of those who were insured.
• The town is home to the Tivoli Theatre, a 1930s art deco cinema and theatre, which still opens daily and is mainly run by local volunteers.
• One of the short stay carparks in Wimborne has a very interesting feature a very large horse chestnut tree, separating, the ‘In’ and ‘Out’ lanes it’s actually in the middle of the road. The tree was originally in the playground of the former school.
• Once the busiest station in Dorset, there is virtually nothing left now to show it ever existed. The Dorset railway system had 170 miles of track and 55 stations at its peak and 57 services a day stopped in Wimborne, and a passenger could leave in any one of five directions from Wimborne Station, the station closed in May 1977.
• In the 11th and 12th centuries, many hospitals for lepers were founded and then converted to other uses as the disease died down. The Chapel of St Margaret and St Anthony was one such hospital.
• While in Wimborne, Thomas Hardy wrote his ninth novel – Two on a Tower
Wimbornes main yearly event has to be the Wimborne Folk Festival this event often covers 3 days with the main event covering Saturday and Sunday, the event packs out all the local hotels and guest houses for the whole weekend. The bars and restaurants are now a draw to the town as more and more, trendy bars and restaurants open.
For the family you have Serles House, Alan Titchmarsh, dubbed it one of the ten best private gardens in Britain, has become a bit of a tourist attraction for Mr Willis’s open days which have taken place since 2009 or you could take a trip to see the Model Town and Railway great for a family day out. Not forgetting the Minster itself, with it amazing history and you could finish off the day with shopping and lovely lunch.
Wimborne Minister is a hive of activity which boasts the largest undercover market in the south west of England which is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. An authentic farmers market is held in the Square every 3rd Saturday of the month selling local farm produce including butchers, bakers, fruiters, fishmonger, cheese stands even locally produced arts and crafts.
For those interested in the history of the town, there are 3 specific Historic walks that can be enjoyed with 12 green plaques located at places of special historic interest along the way. Details can be had from the tourist information office.
Drinking and shopping worth a mention
Wimborne is fast becoming a destination shopping area with its local and boutique shops, these mixed with some of the established large companies it provides a great selection to suit a wide demographic. Because of the large Waitrose just off the green you no longer need to leave the town for your big weekly shop and you can top up with your local farm produce.
It has also been expanding in the last 20 years in regards to the choice of trendy restaurants and bars, you can now sample specialty gins and cocktails at the Gin Bar or pop in to the Dancing Moose for that specialty burger.
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Wimborne benefits from:
• The town has three first schools -St John's, Wimborne and Pamphill
• Wimborne has two middle schools - St Michael's and Allenbourne
• The adjacent area of Merley along with Wimborne are served by two upper schools: Corfe Hills School and Queen Elizabeth's School
The aerospace company Cobham plc has headquarters in Wimborne. Home decoration company Farrow & Ball began in the town, and is still headquartered nearby in Ferndown. Tourism is a growing aspect of the town's economy, with its famous Wimborne Folk Festival filling the streets and businesses for at least 3 days every summer.
A few statistics for you (from Zoopla) / Fun facts
• Last year 531 Properties were sold
• Average asking price for a large family 4 or 5 bed detached is approximately £846,905
• Rushell Lane, Wimborne has the highest average sale price £1.325 million closely followed by Arrowsmith Road, Wimborne with prices in the road often exceeding £1.1 Million
• The most active price band last year was £200 - £400k
• The average house price in BH21 is £421,451 (Zoopla)