Sherborne is a town in the north of Dorset, to the east of Yeovil. It is on the edge of the attractive region of countryside known as Blackmore Vale. A traditional market town with a long history - Sherborne was once capital of the saxon region of Wessex.
It has a very pleasant town centre to explore, among the best in south-west England, with an unnaturally high number of beautiful buildings to admire, many medieval, and a wide range of shops (inclusing antique shops etc) and restaurants. Sherborne is particularly interesting to visit because it contains several important historical buildings, including:
Sherborne Abbey: originally classified as a cathedral, then later as an abbey, Sherborne abbey is now simply the Abbey Church of Saint Mary the Virgin (although still referred to as Sherborne Abbey). The long history of the abbey, dating back to the 8th century, is reflected in the architecture which combines some Saxon elements with Norman elements from a subsequent rebuilding. subsequent additions including two chapels and the choir are in later styles again. All these elements combine very well in a unified whole, and the golden coloured abbey is a highlight of a visit to Sherborne. Several important tombs are also housed within the abbey, including those of King Ethelbert and the poet Sir Thomas Wyatt, while the stained glass windows are more recent, largely dating from the late 19th - early 20th centuries.
Sherborne Castle, built in the grounds of the ancient Sherborne Palace (now only ruins remain), a little to the south-east of Sherborne, this impressive 16th century Tudor mansion was originally built as a (very substantial) lodge by Sir Walter Raleigh. the castle was much expanded in the 17th century to take the form we now see, while the extensive 40 acres of gardens and lake, incorporating the ruins of the original castle and designed by Capability Brown, were laid out in the 18th century in the popular 'carefully planned to look natural' style.
Almshouses: the original almshouses form an attractive building in the local yellow stone (pictured above)
Sherborne House: a large country house that is now a school
Map of Sherborne and places to visit
Sherborne places to visit
See more places nearby in the Dorset guide