This is the ultimate guide to Bridport in Dorset
Bridport is an historic market town that attracts many visitors every year. Situated along the dramatic Jurrasic coastline surrounded by the lush green countryside of Dorset this town has many hidden gems to discover. Unsurpassed outdoor scenery can be experienced with some first class food and dining places. There are also wonderful cultural opportunities at the many events and festivals Bridport hosts.
Stop at the many bar and cafe’s whilst enjoying some of the best vintage retro shopping in the UK. Every Wednesday and Saturday the main streets transform into a busy marketplace where you can find an amazing array of interesting bargains both old and new.
West Bay home to the ITV drama “Broadchurch” is but a few minutes drive and offers a uniquely British seaside experience. Whether it’s fish and chips on the beach, or, a cafe late before braving the water, the dramatic cliffs steal the show in this now iconic seaside village.
A brief history of Bridport
Bridport, a charming market town nestled in the county of Dorset, England, boasts a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries. Its story begins in ancient times, as evidence suggests human habitation in the area dating back to the Neolithic era. The town’s location near the coast and its proximity to the River Brit made it an ideal settlement for early inhabitants.
During the Roman period, Bridport was a significant center for the production of rope and nets. The town’s name itself is derived from the Old English term “Brydian,” meaning “to maintain or to support.” This etymology reflects Bridport’s historical role as a provider of essential maritime equipment.
The town’s importance grew during the medieval era when it became a thriving market town. In the 13th century, Bridport received its first royal charter, granting it the right to hold a weekly market and an annual fair. These commercial activities stimulated trade and attracted merchants from far and wide, contributing to the town’s prosperity.
Bridport’s medieval legacy is evident in its architecture, particularly St. Mary’s Church, which dates back to the 13th century. The church’s impressive nave and striking stained glass windows serve as reminders of the town’s historical significance. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bridport emerged as a hub for the production of ropes and nets, thanks to its access to high-quality hemp and flax fibers. The industry flourished, and Bridport became renowned for its durable and reliable ropes, earning it the nickname “Rope Town.”
In more recent history, Bridport has evolved into a vibrant cultural and tourist destination. Its picturesque streets, filled with independent shops, galleries, and cafes, offer a unique and charming experience to visitors. The town’s annual Bridport Literary Festival attracts renowned authors and literary enthusiasts from across the country. Bridport’s rich history and its enduring charm make it a cherished gem in the Dorset landscape. As the town continues to embrace its past while looking toward the future, it remains a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of its community.