Photo By Peter Watts
Blandford Forum

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This panoramic image was taken in front of the Georgian town hall, known as the Corn Exchange. The Market Place road itself was very busy, and it took a while for the gap in the traffic to be large enough to be able to photograph the opposite side of the road. There was a steady stream of people going in and out of the Corn Exchange building itself. To the right of the Town Hall is the bell tower of the church of St Peter & St Paul


Blandford Forum - Blandford Forum visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Blandford Forum' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Dorset.

This panorama was taken outside the 'Corn Exchange', or Town Hall, of Blandford Forum on a day when there were street stalls on the Market Place. As the name suggests, the town is built around a river crossing, in this case the River Stour which continues south from here to Christchurch. This formed an important crossing point and junction for the roads coming from Poole (southeast), Dorchester (southwest), Sherborne (northwest) and Shaftesbury (north). There is also an old Roman Road which runs northeast from Blandford to Salisbury. These routes help Blandford establish itself as a major Dorset market town in later medieval times. Like many towns, Blandford was not built with modern traffic in mind, and the roads slow up quite quickly.

Blandford Forum was badly damaged by fire in both 1713 and 1731 to such an extent that only two buildings predating these fires survive, Old House from around 1660, and the Ryves Almshouses built in 1682. It's position as a major market town was enhanced by the deliberate destruction of Milton Abbas between 1771 and 1790 by the Earl of Dorchester, who decided to replace this with a more modest village. Today, much of the economy of the town comes from the Badger Brewery and Blandford Camp, home to the Royal Corps of Signals.

The Blandford Forum Parish Chruch (Chruch of St Peter & St Paul) stands on the east end of Market Place, a short distance from the town hall.


From Poole (15 miles) take the A350 to Blandford Forum.
From Dorchester (17 miles) take the A35, followed by the A354 and then the B3082.
From Sherborne (21 miles) take the A352, then the A3030 and the A357.
From Shaftesbury (12 miles) take the A350 south (or follow the B3081 and numerous country lanes south).
From Salisbury (23 miles) take the A354 southwest.

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