FORGOTTEN words from Dorset’s past will be unveiled on a series of new trails launched in Dorchester.

The Dorchester BID (Business Improvement District) has been overseeing the Dorset Dialect Trails, which has seen 43 unique plate clocks positioned in six different trails around the town.

The clocks are in a variety of shops and other locations and each contains an ancient Dorset word taken from a glossary of Dorset dialect compiled by William Barnes in 1863.

The plates also feature images of some of the town’s architecture and anonymous memories of Dorchester gathered from local residents and visitors.

All the participating shops and locations will be able to hand out word definition tags to trail hunters so they can try and compile the full set.

The BID and designers of the plate clocks Parasite Ceramics have also developed a set of highly collectable William Barnes playing cards that depict all the words used in the trail.

The first 25 people to successfully collect a full set of definition tags and return them to the Dorchester BID office in High West Street will receive a set of the playing cards.

The six different trails all have different themes – nature, food and drink, street language, art and literature, body and mind and haunted history.

Maps for the trails are available at the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre in Antelope Walk and at various other locations around the town from the start of half term week.

Dorchester BID project director Phil Gordon said: “I want to give a special thank you to the support that we have had from both the William Barnes Society and also the Dorset County Museum, who kindly supplied the images of William Barnes for the cards.

“I really hope that locals and visitors alike will enjoy re-discovering the ancient Dorset dialect (featured recently on TV when Richard Wilson visited Dorchester) and in the process, they might discover one or two parts of town that they have not seen for a while.

“The playing cards are a great prize but if any shops around town would like to sell them, they will soon be available to them too.”

For more information on the project please visit