Blandford Forum is a classic example of those English towns that came into being as a result of a river crossing. Blandford became one of the major market towns of Dorset during medieval times because the main roads from Salisbury to Dorchester and from Poole to Shaftesbury met there to cross the River Stour.
The town became a borough in 1605 and was home to the Bishop of Bristol's registry for the archdeaconry of Dorset until the county was transferred to the diocese of Salisbury in 1836.
The town was destroyed by fire in 1713 and again in 1731. The second blaze was the more serious and destroyed virtually everything that had survived the first fire. The only buildings remaining today that predate these two catastrophes are the Old House c.1660 in The Close, and the Ryves Almshouses c.1682 in Salisbury Street.
The town was rebuilt to the earlier street pattern except that the central part of the market place was left as open space. Today, Blandford Forum is one of the best preserved Georgian market towns in England. The majority of the buildings in the centre of the town date from the period 1735-1760.
Between 1771 and 1790, the Earl of Dorchester destroyed the neighbouring market town of Milton Abbas to replace it with a more modest model village. The commercial prosperity of Blandford Forum benefited greatly as a consequence.
There’s much about Blandford Forum that’s well worth seeing and Plumber Manor is only a short distance away and considered one of the finest country house hotels near Blandford Forum.
Other towns worth visiting: Sherborne
, Cerne Abbas
and Sturminster Newton
Plumber Manor is recommended by:
Michelin, The Good Food Guide, The Good Hotel Guide, the Best Loved Hotels and Johansens guides.