Guide to Historical Homes in Dorset

Athelhampton house

Dorset is home to many stunning Historical Homes and before the weather turns and the houses go into their winter hours it’s the perfect time to view them. Whether it’s a Medieval Castle, a Tudor Sea Fort, or a Jacobean Manor, Dorset has it all, and if you love visiting Stately Homes again and again then maybe retiring to a Platinum Skies property in Dorset is the right move for you! Especially as our Lifestyle Managers love to organise trips out to visit these beautiful buildings.

 

Athelhampton House & Gardens

Built in the year of the famous Battle of Bosworth Field, parts of Athelhampton House have stood for over five-hundred years. The House includes a Great Hall with Tudor architecture and linenfold panelling down its length. It’s brimming with heraldic imagery and historic furniture. There are state bedrooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms, a library, The Kings Room, a wine cellar and a beautiful gallery displaying work by the artist Marevna who lived at Athelhampton in the 20th century. In short, there’s lots to see, and it’s not just about the House but the beautiful gardens too.

 

Formal Victorian gardens give way to beautiful woodlands at Athelhampton House. Enjoy water features, rose beds and a sweet river walk. There’s a shop and restaurant too so you can really make a day of it.

Prices

Senior – £12.50*

Children (under 16) – £3*

*Discount available when booking online

Opening times:

March through October

Sundays-Thursdays: 10:30am-5pm

November through February

Sundays Only 10:30am-dusk

 

You can find Athelhampton house & Gardens on their:

Website for information

Facebook for events

Twitter for updates

Instagram for photos

 

Lulworth Castle

The Lulworth Estate spans over 20 miles of Dorset countryside and is absolutely stunning. It has more than a few gems in its crown but we’ve narrowed ourselves down as one that you might want to visit if you’re more historically inclined.

 

Lulworth Castle was originally the equivalent of a country getaway believe it or not! Built as a hunting lodge for the aristocracy and royalty it was the family seat of the Weld family who still own the estate. You can park on-site for a charge and visit the castle and don’t forget to stop for scones, jam and cream at the Castle tearoom. Then there’s a vast estate you can walk around to really enjoy the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Prices

Adults: £6

Children (4-15 years): £4

Under 4’s Free

Opening times

Sunday-Friday: 10:30am-5pm

Open Easter to December

 

You can find Lulworth Castle on their:

Website for information

Facebook for events

Twitter for updates

Instagram for photos

 

Christchurch Castle & Norman House

 

This English Heritage managed property is free to visit. Once upon a time there was a large Norman castle that dominated Christchurch which is now largely ruined. Most probably constructed about 1160 as part of William the Conqueror’s securing of power in his new kingdom, this would have been the home of the lord of Christchurch. You can visit the remains of the old castle via a dirt path that can be navigated by buggies and wheelchairs and a further steeper climb to explore more of the ruins. It consists of a motte-and-bailey castle typical of the period and a chamber block known as the Norman House.

Opening times

Any reasonable time during daylight hours

Prices

Free

 

You can find Christchurch Castle on their:

Website for information

Facebook for events

Twitter for updates

Instagram for photos

 

Kingston Lacy

An Italian Palace in the middle of Dorset? That’s what Kingston Lacy, the National Trust property, is. Containing everything from paintings by masters such as Rubens and Van Dyck to an Egyptian collections of artefacts assembled in 1818 and a tented bedroom designed to resemble Napoleon’s campaign tents during his European wars. It’s a stunning building, ancestral home of the Bankes family, and under the guardianship of the National Trust. The property boasts a tearoom and restaurant so you can spend a whole day enjoying the history and beauty of the place.

 

Opening times

House: 11am – 5pm

Gardens, Park, Restaurant & Shop: 10am-6pm

See website for seasonal times.

Prices

Adult: £12.70 (without Gift Aid)

Child: £6.30

 

You can find Kingston Lacy on their:

Website for information

Facebook for events

Twitter for updates

Instagram for photos

 

Hurst Castle

Hurst Castle might look more modern than Tudor on first glance but this sea fort was actually built originally by Henry VIII. When it was built it was one of the most advanced artillery fortresses in England and over the years it served as a prison for Charles I, was reinforced during the French revolutionary wars and again in the 19th and 20th centuries, and had an active role right through both World Wars until 1956. You can visit it now and also find easy access to the Isle of Wight if you want to go across to visit Osborne House. If military history is your thing then this could be a great day out for you.

Opening times

1st April – 30th September

10:30 – 5:30pm

Prices

Adult: £5

Child: £3

 

You can find Hurst Castle on their:

Website for information

Facebook for events

Twitter for updates

Instagram for photos

 

Sherbourne Castle

Home to the Digby family for over 400 years, this property was built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and enjoyed decorative styles from all over the ages as well as a landscape designed by Capability Brown. Sherbourne Castle was built where the deer lodge once stood in the park of Old Sherbourne Castle which was destroyed by the Parliamentarians in the Civil War. The ‘new’ Sherbourne Castle survived and went on to be extended in 1787 and to act as a Red Cross Hospital in the First World War. The garden is Grade I listed as one of Capability Brown’s first commissions and there is a special exhibition dedicated to the landscape designer  at the house. It’s a wonderful piece of English history still in family hands.

Opening times

1st April – 30th September

10:30 – 5:30pm

Prices

Senior: £11.50

Child (0-15 years): Free

 

You can find Sherbourne Castle on their:

Website for information

Facebook for events

Twitter for updates

 

There’s so many wonderful properties and gardens in Dorset to visit and we’ve only picked a few. Visiting one of these places can be a lovely thing to do on an autumn day when the weather might drive us indoors more than normal. Make the most of the surrounding area and if you would like to find out about living in Dorset with all it has to offer in your retirement why not contact us?