Dorset has a vast history spanning many centuries, with developments over the years changing the face of the county.

While some towns grew in size due to more and more people settling in Dorset, other villages or settlements just became abandoned and were lost in time. These were later uncovered by historians or by archaeological digs. 

Some villages were abandoned for varying reasons or were just simply destroyed. Not a lot is known about some of these lost Dorset villages, so there is limited information available. 

Here are a number of lost Dorset villages that time has forgotten about. 


Dorset Echo: Where Bardolfeston village was. Picture: StreetMapWhere Bardolfeston village was. Picture: StreetMap

Based north east of Puddletown was the tiny village of Bardolfeston.

Historic England said the deserted village had up to 27 buildings and a church and was a parish in its own right.

But the village's population declined from the 14th century onwards, according to early documents. The site was finally deserted by the 17th century and became lost in time.


Not a lot is known about this settlement which was based near Stourpaine in North Dorset.

Named as a settlement in the Domesday Book, it had a recorded population of seven households in 1086, putting it in the smallest 40 per cent of settlements recorded in Domesday.

The hamlet had almost vanished by the mid 15th century and the name to survives only in Lazerton Farm. It was also referred to as Lacerton and Lazarton according to historical documents. 

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, described Lazerton like this:

“Lacerton, or Lazarton, a hamlet in Stourpaine parish, Dorset; two-and-a-half miles north west of Blandford-Forum. It appears to have been anciently a parish.”


One of the more unusual areas on this list is one that still exists but just in another location.

Originally based eight miles south of Blandford and 11 miles northeast of Dorchester, the entire town was uprooted and moved to another area by Joseph Damer, Lord Milton, the first Earl of Dorchester and owner of Milton Abbey.

He was unhappy about how the area spoiled his views and asked architect Sir William Chambers and landscape gardener Capability Brown to design a new village, Milton Abbas, which still stands today.

The new settlement was to be based in a wooded valley known as Luccombe Bottom, based to the southeast of the Abbey.

Most of the existing villagers were relocated here, and the original town was demolished and the site was landscaped.


The medieval village of Modbury was once situated between Litton Cheney and Burton Bradstock in West Dorset.

It is believed that people who lived in the village were either tenants or servants of Berwick Manor, which is based nearby.

Not a lot is otherwise known about this village, but the name lives on with Modbury Farm, with its land which holds the ruins of the medieval village.


Dorset Echo: Derelict building in Tyneham village

The village is based in East Lulworth, near Wareham, and lies between the two ridges of the Purbeck Hills.

Tyneham can be accessed off the B3070 where motorists must then follow the signs for the village on the rural road.

The village had a post office, church, school, farmhouses, a rectory and cottages. The entire 3,003-acre site on the Tyneham estate was owned by the Bond family for more than 300 years.

In Autumn 1943, residents received a letter from the Government to vacate their homes and were given just over a month’s notice to leave.

The place was evacuated to make way for US troops preparing for the D-Day landings, with tank firing ranges also set up.

More than 200 residents left and despite the promises of the Government, they never returned.

Sadly after the war, Tyneham became the permanent property of the Ministry of Defence and continued to be used as part of the Lulworth ranges.

While the village was maintained by the military after residents left, the village felt into a state of disarray. Historians and residents campaigned for their return to the village but were unsuccessful.

The Village, Worbarrow Bay and Lulworth Ranges continue to be managed by the Ministry of Defence. The village can be visited by tourists, but is only accessible on weekends and public holidays.

Winterborne Farringdon

Dorset Echo: The location of Winterborne Farringdon. British Crown and SeaZone Solutions LimitedThe location of Winterborne Farringdon. British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited

The remains of this village lie within the South Winterborne valley, roughly one and a half miles south of Dorchester.

The earliest recording of the village comes in 1397 but its precise origins are uncertain. The village contained multiple properties and tracks and paths to other areas.  

Historic England said the village was heavily affected by poverty and it is suggested residents slowly deserted the area looking for a better life.

Its site reads: “The origins of the village are uncertain, but it is recorded by 1397. Historical documentation suggests that the settlement suffered from poverty throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.

“By 1650, there were only three households left within the village and J Hutchins, a Dorset historian, records that by 1773 the village had long been depopulated.

“The records suggest gradual depopulation of the settlement rather than a single episode of abandonment.”

Its lands are now incorporated into the adjacent settlements of Winterborne Came and Winterborne Herringston.

The only physical evidence of the village is the ground remains and the one wall of the former church, dedicated to Saint German, which still stands to this day. You can see the remains of the church via a walk starting from near Came Down Golf Club.