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Wareham Town Council
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History of Wareham
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Wareham dates back over 2000 years. The town was once a stronghold for King Alfred the Great, who had built the huge earthen walls around three sides of the town to defend it against the Vikings. The Saxon church of St Martins (the oldest in Dorset) houses early medieval wall paintings and an effigy of Laurence of Arabia (originally intended for Westminster Abbey).

The Purbeck Information and Heritage Centre is a mine of information, as is the small but fascinating Wareham museum. The Rex Cinema is also worth a visit as it is the only gas-lit cinema in the country. Thursday is market day, which dates back over 500 years. The oldest auction based market in the country and features a fruit and produce auction, the only one in England. In addition there is now a new market on Satudays based on the Quay.
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Old South Bridge
The old South Bridge, replaced in 1927 by the present one
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Map
John Calcraft's map of Wareham
Taken from Hutchins 'History of Dorset'
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