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Information boards tell history of Wareham's town walls
THE Lord Lieutenant of Dorset has officially unveiled a series of information boards at the site of Wareham’s ancient Saxon walls.
Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers was joined by other dignitaries for the ceremony, which marked a milestone in the project to tell the story of the town’s 9th century earth walls.
Originally built to keep out marauding Vikings the walls’ rich history is intertwined with the Purbeck market town.
Seven of the information boards are dotted around the 1,200 metre length of the walls. Each tells the story of the spot on which it stands and its surrounding location – from Bloody Bank and ‘hanging’ Judge Jefferies, the Norman conquest and the anger of King John.
Wareham and District Trust development manager John Scott, who was instrumental in making the project a reality, said: “The whole idea of the interpretation boards alongside the walls had been discussed for many years, although perhaps not quite 12 centuries.
“To bring the dream of many people to a relative and colourful conclusion is a great achievement for which the whole community should be proud.”
Archaeologist and local historian Lillian Ladle wrote the story that each board tells, while the project was brought together by a partnership of English Heritage, Wareham and District Development Trust, the district and county councils and Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Mr Scott said: “Our Saxon walls are the best remaining example in the whole of the country and bring thousands of visitors from all over the world.
“For the first time in their history everyone who ‘walks the walls’ will be able to better understand what they are walking on, looking at and what has happened exactly where they stand.”
The project was largely funded by Viridor Credits with contributions from English Heritage and the two councils.
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