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The largest town in the north-west of the county, Sherborne is dominated by the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin (the history of which can be traced back to at least 705AD) and is currently best known for its boarding schools – both male and female. The older of the two castles dates from the 12th century, and was slighted after being surrendered by its Royalist occupants during the Civil War (a fate similar to that of Corfe Castle).

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Most of the buildings are constructed from the local, golden-yellow coloured limestone giving a homogeneous appearance to the town. Not having suffered any major fires during the last 600 years of its history has meant that the streets are lined with a mix of buildings dating from the 15th century through to the present. Seen here on a changeable June day, the brief spells of sunshine bringing a pleasant warmth to the colour of the stone.


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In the top row of pictures:

  • Sherborne viewed from the south-east, Sherborne Castle and lake (1753 – Lancelot 'Capability Brown') in the foreground (picture)
  • Sherborne Abbey, portions of which are Anglo-Saxon, majority of the building dated c.1420–50 (picture)
  • Effigy of Sir Walter Raleigh c.1552–1618, situated outside the Abbey (picture)
  • Detail from back of the Almshouse of St John the Baptist & St John the Evangelist. Although this window is part of a mid-19th century addition to the original 15th century building, it embodies several essential elements of the typical Sherborne building (picture)
  • Looking north-to-south down Cheap Street, the main shopping thoroughfare (picture)

In the bottom row of pictures:

  • Top of Cheap Street, The Julian – originally Inn of St Julian – 16th century (picture)
  • Cheap Street, 15th century building carefully restored, was a candlemaker's premises at one time (picture)
  • Sherborne House, private house from c.1720, which later became Lord Digby's School (picture)
  • Hospital Lane, one of many fine buildings within the school quarter (picture)
  • Sherborne Castle, central portions rebuilt by Sir Walter Raleigh 1594, passed to John Digby in 1617 following Raleigh's downfall (picture)

Nearby locations that also feature in galleries on this site:

directionThe Caundles, Sturminster Newton, Hinton St Mary, Marnhull

directionYetminster, Evershot, Cerne Abbas

More views of Dorset in June

Other sites on the web

Sherborne:   the official town website

Sherborne Castle:   home of the Wingfield Digby family since 1617

The Dorset Page:   Sherborne – local information and links to further resources on the web

Maps of the area on streetmap.co.uk:   1:50,000 – detail, 1:250,000 – locality and route to get there

picture resolution
The pictures of Sherborne in this gallery were captured at high resolution.
This is images of dorset stock photography gallery 043
All photographs copyright © 1998–2003 John Allen

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