Monday 10 September: Dorset Country Visit


Blandford Forum

The town of Blandford Forum was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1731, following which local architects and builders John and William Bastard took a major role in the design and building of what has been described as the most complete small Georgian town in England.


In the morning, members will have a tour of a number of important public buildings in the town. This will include: the Corn Exchange, Town Hall and Council Chamber, all built following the fire of 1731; Blandford Fashion Museum, housed in a Georgian house with fine brickwork and carving that was built by the Bastard brothers for their sisters; and Blandford Town Museum, located in the outbuildings of the Bastards’ own house. There will also be the opportunity to view the Bastard brothers’ study, which served as a studio where they could display examples of their plasterwork and carving to potential clients.


Following a lunch (including wine) with local historians, curators and the owners of the afternoon’s private houses, the afternoon tour will begin with a visit to the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. Finished in 1739, the church is considered to be one of the finest Georgian churches outside London. This will be followed by visits to two privately owned houses in the town, before the tour ends with a visit to a privately owned Jacobean house which was one of the few houses in the town to survive the Great Fire.


***£10 off booking when purchased before 31 July (£85 when booked after this date)***