We have passed through Wareham many times in the past on our way to the various locations on the Isle of Purbeck. I have never stopped before to wander round the old town. So this was a long overdue visit to walk around and take photographs. Our walk around the town followed a guide called “Wareham rediscovered” obtainable from the tourist information office in the town.
Wareham quay. Wareham’s high point as a port was in Saxon times.
A wider view showing the River Frome which runs into Poole Harbour.
This tiled map of the town is in a wall next to the Quay Inn.
The approach to the church of Lady St Mary. Adjacent to the church is the Priory which is now run as a Hotel. Christians have worshipped on this site for 1300 years. The present church dates mostly from 1842.
The inside of the church.
The east window and alter.
The font dates from the 12th century and is made of lead. It is the only hexagonal lead font in existence. The figures around the font are the twelve apostles.
The church and churchyard.
Higher up Church Street is the Congregational Church now called the United Reform Church. In the great fire of 1762 a large part of this church was destroyed. The present building mostly dates from later that year.
St John’s Hill. The house on the left is Gold Court and is thought to have been named after a goldsmith who lived in the area in the 13th century. The red brick house is called Mint House and stands on the site of a probable Saxon Mint.
The road south out of the town over the modern bridge which was built in 1927.
The Almshouses in East Street. The buildings date from 1741 and are now private dwellings. Click on the plaque above the door to read more details.
St Martin's church at the top of North Street. The church stands on the North Walls at the old entrance to the town. It is believed that the original church on the site was founded in 698 by St Aldhelm. The present church dates from 1020. The church contains an effigy of Lawrence of Arabia.
St Martin's church from North Street.
Looking down North Street towards the Town Hall.
The North Walls. On the left is the River Piddle. You can just see the old North Bridge. The oldest arch on the bridge is Medieval.
On the western edge of the old town is Bloody Bank. It is so named because it was a place of execution.
Pound Lane - The old red brick building used to be Phippard’s brewery.
Looking north in South Street towards the Town Hall.
Back at St John’s hill at the end of our tour. These are the premises of W Pond and Co, General Ironmongers.