Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the town in England; you may have been looking for Wareham, Massachusetts .
Wareham is a market town in the Purbeck area of Dorset, England. The town is situated on the River Frome and the River Piddle, close to Poole Harbour, eight miles south west of Poole town. The population of Wareham is 8,4171.
The town is built on a stragic dry point between the two rivers and beside Poole harbour, and it therefore has a long history. The older streets in the town follow a Roman grid pattern, though the current town was founded by the Saxons. The town's oldest features are the town Walls, ancient earth ramparts surrounding the town, which were built by Alfred the Great in the 9th century to defend the town from Norsemen. The town was a Saxon royal buriel place, notably that of King Beorhtric (800 CE); also in the town is the coffin of Edward the Martyr, dating from 978, his remains now to be found in Shaftesbury Abbey in north Dorset. The River Frome serves as a small harbour and the town was a port in centuries when boats were smaller.
In 1762 a fire destroyed two thirds of the town, which has been rebuilt in Georgian architecture with red brick and Purbeck limestone , following the Roman street pattern. The town is divided into four quarters by the two main roads, which cross at right-angles. The medieval Almshouses escaped the fire, and some of the Georgian facades are in fact disguising earlier buildings which also survived. Because of the constraints of the rivers and marshland Wareham grew little during the 20th century, while nearby towns, such as Poole, grew rapidly.
Near the town is Bovington army camp, the place where T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) died due to a motorcycle accident. There is an effigy of him in St Martins Church. He is buried at Moreton churchyard where every year a quantity (decreases by one each year) of red roses are left.
- Figure obtained by combining the populations of Wareham town parish (5,665) and Wareham St Martin parish (2,752) from the Census 2001.
- Pitt Rivers, Michael, 1970. Dorset. London: Faber & Faber.
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