Below we show some of the best history, heritage and factual books on Dorset, including The Little Book, history books and Secret Places of West Dorset.
The Little Book of Dorset, by David Hilliam
The Little Book of Dorset is a funny, fast-paced, fact-packed compendium of the places, people, legends and true stories about the county’s past and present.
Here you can read about Dorset’s extraordinary characters, strange ghostly happenings, royal connections, peculiar traditions, weird pastimes, bones and curious burials. Not forgotten are the secrets of the fossil-rich coast, towns and villages with odd names and strong literary connections. A reliable reference book and a quirky guide, this can be dipped into time and time again to reveal something new about the heritage and the mysteries of this beautiful county.
This is a remarkably engaging little book – essential reading for visitors and locals alike. From Mary Anning to Thomas Hardy, and from the Tolpuddle Martyrs to a statue of Bournemouth’s first Inspector of Nuisances sitting on a loo, there are literally hundreds of stories featured here to surprise even those who think they know Dorset well.
50 Gems of Dorset: The History & Heritage of the Most Iconic Places, by John Megoran
Famous for its spectacular coastal scenery, its beautiful beaches and ancient castles, Dorset is a county with huge and diverse appeal.
From the delights of Lyme Regis to lovely Lulworth Cove, this book takes the reader on fascinating journey through spectacular scenery, sleepy villages and ancient castles. Beaches and coves, castles and museums and the magnificent Jurassic Coast, they re all here in a lovingly painted picture of Dorset today.
In 50 Gems of Dorset, author John Megoran explores some of the places that make this part of the country so special.
Secret Places of West Dorset, by Louise Hodgson
Highlighting some of Dorset’s most beautiful, untouched places, providing ideas for day visits. Clear directions and suggested walks allow you to explore for yourself and make further discoveries. The author provides a rich insight and deep understanding of the Dorset landscape and how we relate to it.
Exploring the Quiet Lanes and Villages of West Dorset, by Jackie Winter
For motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists, a practical book to inspire you to explore Dorset. It contains nine routes with maps and illustrations.
The author has spent the last 40 years cycling the area and shares her discoveries and fascinating snippets about Dorset. The quiet lanes of West Dorset are made for exploring (by two wheels or four). Away from hectic tourist routes, the old villages and gently rolling countryside entice you to linger awhile and admire the view.
Dorset History in 101 Objects, by Terry Hearing
THIS BOOK is an account of selected objects which illustrate the threads of the History of Dorset. Dorset is full of “objects”, and each one is a piece of History.
The definition of the word ‘object’ has been taken very widely, from the tiny Mesolithic microliths to the strip fields of Portland. Some of the objects are bizarre, such as the cannonball in the wall of a ladies’ lavatory in Weymouth; some are very beautiful, like the Tabernacle in Milton Abbey; some are huge, such as the prehistoric hillforts; some are mundane utilities, like roadside signposts; some are merely names like the list of the parish priests who died serving their flocks when the Black Death swept in.
All have their stories, and this book looks at just one hundred and one, out of countless millions. Each short chapter gives the flavour of the object to show its importance in the continuing story of a county rich in the remains of the lives of our predecessors.
Prehistoric Dorset, by John Gale
Dorset is one of the country’s richest counties in archaeological remains and over the last 30 years there have been a great number of new discoveries. This detailed, up-to-date and well-illustrated study of prehistoric monuments in and around Dorset explores the changing aspects of the county’s landscapes through the ages, captured by the monuments that were constructed within them.
Moving chronologically from the funerary and ceremonial landscapes of long barrows, cursus and henge monuments of the Neolithic period down to the war-like hillfort dominated landscapes of the pre-Roman Iron Age, John Gale illustrated the unique and diverse nature of these largely misunderstood prehistoric monuments and explains how they are closely linked to the landscapes around them.