Visit Blandford Forum and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Blandford Forum, Dorset, has the most handsome and uniform Georgian red-brick-and-stone town centre in the South West. The first cause of this was a great fire in 1731 ; the second, the wave of public sympathy and financial help that followed (its being the home town of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Wake, doubtless helped); the third, the talent of two local architects, John and William Bastard, who did much of the rebuilding. The church (1739) is among the largest and grandest of its period outside London. A classical portico by the churchyard commemorates “God's dreadful visitation by Fire”.
The fire began in a tallow chandler's on the site of the present King's Arms (about 100 yds North West of the Market Place) and with the wind from the North, virtually everything South of it went. Within an hour all available fire engines were burned, soon all ladders and in the end some 400 houses; the church bells according to an eye-witness “dissolved and ran down in streams”. The only major pre-1731 buildings left today are Ryves Almshouses (1682) and Dale House (1689), both in Salisbury Street, and the Old House (the doctor's at the time of the fire) in The Close, North East of the church. Outside the fine Market Place, one of the best Georgian buildings is that of the British Legion in Church Lane.
Just South of the town the bridge over the beautiful, slow, weed-dappled River Stour bears the plaque common on Dorset bridges to the effect that anyone “injuring” it is “liable to be transported for life”.
The town is proud of being the birthplace, in 1818, of Alfred Stevens, the sculptor and painter, who was called by Orpen “the most thoroughly educated artist the county has seen”. One of his best known works is the Wellington monument in St Paul's. Blandford was Thomas Hardy's “Shottesford Forum”.
About ½ mile North West, Bryanston School is housed in a mansion built c. 1890 for the Portman family within a fine park. It has two churches, one Georgian, one contemporary with the house.
Nearby towns: Poole, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Sturminster Newton, Wareham, Wimborne Minster
Nearby villages: Almer, Ashmore, Broadstone, Charlton Marshall, Chettle, Child Okeford, Compton Abbas, Corfe Mullen, Dewlish, Durweston, East Orchard, Fontmell Magna, Gussage St Michael, Hammoon, Handley, Iwerne Minster, Long Crichel, Lytchett Matravers, Manston, Marnhull, Milborne St. Andrew, Milton Abbas, Morden, Pimperne, Shapwick, Shillingstone, Shroton, Spetisbury, Stourpaine, Sturminster Marshall, Sturminster Newton, Tarrant Gunville, Tarrant Hinton, Tarrant Keynston, Tarrant Monkton, Tarrant Rushton, Tollard Royal, West Orchard, Wimborne Minster, Winterborne Kingston, Winterborne Sticklan, Witchampton, Woolland
Have you decided to visit Blandford Forum or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Blandford Forum bed and breakfast (a Blandford Forum B&B or Blandford Forum b and b)
- a Blandford Forum guesthouse
- a Blandford Forum hotel (or motel)
- a Blandford Forum self-catering establishment, or
- other Blandford Forum accommodation