Wimborne Minster is a traditional market town oozing with charm and character. It is situated just to the North-West of Bournemouth, between the rivers Stour and Allen.
Wimborne Minster church dates back to Saxon Times, A.D. 705, when St. Cuthburga founded a Benedictine Nunnery on the site. St. Cuthburga was sister of the West Saxon King, Ina. Through the ages the Minster has been a focal point of many of the town’s major events and milestones. Its two towers and beautiful Dorset limestone and New Forest stone façade make it a grand aspect from all parts of town. Its most historic inhabitant is probably Alfred the Great’s brother; Ethelred, who was killed in a bloody battle at Martin, near Cranborne. It is not a museum, although it has gathered many treasures and artefacts over the centuries.
Wimborne’s property market is certainly unique. The infrastructure of the town is a mixture of 16th, 17th and 18th century homes, shops and pubs – a blend of traditional chocolate-box, doll’s house style double-fronted town houses, thatched cottages and modern abodes with courtyard gardens.
Wimborne market is a huge, sprawling affair – one of the largest and longest-running markets in the South. It was first held in 1855 when Thomas Ensor opened a livestock market in the wake of the success of his cattle market in Dorchester. This tradition continues today with a farmers market every Friday.
Priest’s House Museum
The Priest’s House Museum and Garden celebrates all that makes up life in Wimborne and features exhibits cataloguing its humble beginnings to its modern day. Dip into the ten galleries of original archaeology and costume and delve into a working Victorian kitchen and a 17th Century Hall. Once outside you can explore the pretty cottage and kitchen gardens too.
Wimborne Model Town was built to a 1:50 scale of the actual town and gives visitors a glimpse back at what life was like in the 1950s. This popular attraction is tucked just off Wimborne’s main circular road on King Street and signposted from the square.
The independent Tivoli Theatre harks back to an art deco golden era and maintains its original function as a cine/theatre, hosting films screenings and live stage shows. With just 500 seats you are always guaranteed to get up-close and personal and this makes for a tremendous atmosphere and acoustics for the audience and the cast on stage. The theatre was built in 1936 but closed briefly during the 1980s before a successful community bid to get it reopened. It has been updated and restored over the last decade but retains the grand styling from when it was first built. You might spot some of its art deco and vintage features such as the original chrome and Bakelite door handles.
The acclaimed Wimborne Folk Festival is always a fun-filled family weekend of song, dance, high spirits and hopefully sunshine every June. One of the biggest events on the town’s calendar, the folk festival hosts an extended music programme and events for all the family.