This part of Dorchester's High West Street is certainly the place to come if you need a solicitor.

Adjoining properties 39 and 40 seem to have been partly residential with maybe 39 residential and number 40 used as a business. In 1955, number 40 was occupied by Dr H.G.Harvey, Roy Salkeld and C.W. Pike, all medical practitioners.

It is believed that Dr Harvey lived at 39 with 40 being the surgery and waiting room.

Number 40 became occupied by Porter, Magnell and Coins from 1950 to 1981 when solicitors Humphrey Kirk and Miller, now Humphries Kirk, became the occupants.

Next door, 41 High West Street was S.J.Stevens, dentist from the 1950s to 1973. From 1974 to 1990 it was Thomas Coombs and Son Solicitors. From 1991 to 1999 it was Howe Shorter Solicitors, which then changed its name to Mustoe Shorter, solicitors.

Number 42 High West Street is also home to a solicitors, this time Battens.

Back in 1955 it housed an architects firm C.W. Pike. From 1973 to 1990 it was home to Thomas Coombs and Sons, solicitors which also occupied numbers 41 and 42 at the same time. In 1991 Battens and Co, solicitors moved in, which changed its name to Battens Solicitors in 1995 and is still there now.

Numbers 43 and 44 High West Street have a long history behind them. They're both an example of early 17th century construction. Number 44 is dated 1635.

Number 43 was Winzar’s Paint shop from the 1950s to 1964; Lombard Banking from 1965 to 1976; Thomas Hardy’s Restaurant from 1977 to 1979; Fredericks The Bistro from 1979 to 1983; the Rajpoot from 1983 to 1992 and then from 1992 to the present day it was known as the Rajpoot Tandoori Restaurant.

Number 44, The Old Tea House, seems to have traded as a tea room restaurant under the same name for a number of years and has been run by a number of different proprietors.

Number 45 High West Street and Homechester House was the office of Merchants Garage alongside with petrol pumps, which started trading in the 1920s. Its last day of trading was November 20 1981. The property was empty while adjoining flats were built. It was called Westgate House in 1985 and occupied for a short time by Prudential Agriculture then S.H. Jenkins Estate Agents. In 2001 they became Greenslade Taylor and Hunt Estate Agents.

Homechester House is a relatively new build of a complex of flats for elderly people completed on September 15 1984 (presumably replacing numbers 46 and 47). This site was previously Merchants Garage with showrooms, stores and petrol pumps run by Thomas Merchant and his two sons, Frank and Colin.

In 1895 number 46 was Susannah Stone, dressmaker. They also seem to have been private residents and at one time, bed and breakfast lettings. Number 47 in 1955 was Napper and Son, motor engineers. From 1875 to 1889 it was the business premises of George Woods, upholsterer and cabinet maker, who in 1889 moved to 52 High West Street.

We finish today's tour by arriving at number 48 High West Street which is where the Dorchester Prison surgeon Dr John Good practised in the middle of the 19th century.

Dr Good authorised for casts of the heads of executed prisoners to be taken. Four of these heads are held in Dorset County Museum.

The casts are said to be of Charles Fooks, Edwin Alfred Preedy, Jonah Detheridge and Thomas Radcliffe. These casts were made by Thomas Voss (1806 - 1889).

Dr Good’s son, William Good passed these heads to Dr G. Taylor who donated them to the museum.

The last public hangings in Dorchester were Edwin Alfred Preedy and Charles Fooks in 1863. For this last public hanging, a grandstand was erected in the water meadows to watch the event. Seats were 2s and 6p each. It was so well patronised that the stand collapsed beneath the weight of the sightseers. The cast of Edwin Alfred Preedy is currently on display in The Old Shire Hall down the road.

Dr. Taylor occupied the house and practice until 1972. It then became County Antiques until 1983 when hairdressers ‘Cut & Care’ traded. The name was then changed to A Cut Above and then Blades.In 1983, Blades moved across the road.

The premises were vacant until 1995 when The Gallery opened but closed in 1998. A kitchen shop opened in November 1998 called Ballendark Kitchens but closed in 2000. Cilla and Camilla gift shop opened followed by a bridal shop which closed in 2007. It was empty for a spell until occupied by Coyne, Butterworth and Reid, solicitors, then Christmas and Sheehan solicitors who moved to Poundbury in 2012. It's now occupied by Nantes Solicitors.