Let's move to... Sherborne in Dorset
PUBLISHED: 17:05 24 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 20 February 2013
At the centre of this elegant and ancient market town beats a vibrant heart, as Edward Griffiths discovers
Lets move to... Sherborne
At the centre of this elegant and ancient market town beats a vibrant heart, as Edward Griffiths discovers
Sherborne is an ancient market town in north-west Dorset, almost touching the Somerset border. Dorset writer and broadcaster Ralph Wightman said: Every corner of Sherborne is full of beautiful and historic buildings, and Sherborne School can claim direct succession from St Aldhelms day. Sherborne is certainly one of the most beautiful towns in England, and with its many medieval buildings, such as St Johns Almshouses in Trendle Street, a stunning abbey dating from Saxon times, world-famous schools and two picturesque castles, it is a magnet to visitors and potential residents alike. To accommodate its many visitors, Sherborne has a wide range of hotels and other quality accommodation, making it an ideal base for exploring the delightful areas of north and west Dorset, and for making excursions into south Somerset and Wiltshire.
Sherborne provides excellent facilities for its residents and those living in the surrounding villages, including two public halls the Digby Hall and the Digby Memorial Hall where regular antiques fairs are held. For the future, Sherborne Town Council has plans for a new swimming pool, and the refurbishment and conversion of Sherborne House, an imposing Georgian building, into an Arts Centre. But, even before these new projects come to fruition, Sherborne residents are utterly spoiled when it comes to finding places to take visiting friends and family.
Sherborne Abbey was founded in AD705 by St Aldhelm and originates from a Saxon Cathedral that was the central cathedral of the 26 Saxon Bishops of Wessex
What can I get for my money?
With a wonderful range of top-class schools in the area, demand for family properties in such a desirable area is keen, as Charlie Bladon of Jackson-Stops and Staff reveals. We can only give ballpark figures but a four/five-bed town house without parking in Long Street would be about 600-800,000. While a detached five-bed house in prime Sherborne streets like The Avenue or Bradford Road would be about 750,000- 1million, although there are some smaller ones at about 500,000.
In villages around Sherborne, such as Yetmintser, Sandford Orcas, Trent and Stourton Caundle, detached four/five bed houses with good gardens would be between 750,000-1million, and a pretty 3-bed detached cottage around 500,000. An old rectory-type property would go for somewhere around 1-2m depending on condition, land and ancillary accommodation. More details from Jackson-Stops and Staff, Half Moon Street, Sherborne. 01935 810141, www.jackson-stops.co.uk
Sherborne is internationally famous for its many excellent independent schools, some dating back many hundreds of years.
Sherborne School, founded in 1550 under a royal charter granted by Edward VI, has been educating boys for the last 460 years. It offers an all-round education, following Christian principles, for 13-18-year-old boys. Former Shirburnians include politicians, actors, poets, bishops and diplomats. Information 01935 812249
Sherborne Girls School has been at the forefront of girls education in Britain for over 100 years. A mainly boarding school for 11-18-year-old girls, it provides a rich environment for the development of confident and well-educated young women. Former alumni include the actress Maria Aitken and the soprano Dame Emma Kirkby. Information 01935 818287
Sherborne Preparatory School, for 3-13-year-old children, is an independent day and boarding school with a strong academic and sporting reputation. Information 01935 812097
Gryphon School, established in 1992 as a Voluntary Controlled Church of England School, educates students from 11-19 years old in a modern, purpose-built campus. The school was Dorsets first Business and Enterprise Specialist School. Information 01935 813122
The International College, aims to provide the best academic start for students from different education systems worldwide, before they join mainstream schooling, and it is the only one of its kind in England. Information 01935 814743
Leweston School is a Catholic independent school for girls between 11-18 years old. Set in 46 acres of rolling parkland, just three miles outside Sherborne. Information 01863 210691
Leweston Preparatory School, opened in the main schools grounds in 1993, offers traditional excellence in teaching for
7-11-year-old children, with modern facilities and resources. There is also a mixed Pre-Prep School catering for 2-7 year olds. Information 01963 210790
For more information on Sherborne Schools visit www.sherbornetown.com/education.
Could you live here?
Set back from the road up a gravelled driveway is Devanha, an impressive detached family home on North Road, just a few minutes walk from the town centre. It retains many of its Victorian features including an original Cottier and Co stained-glass window in the spacious entrance hall. The ground floor includes a drawing room with carved stone fireplace, a dining room with wooden Adam-style fireplace and a sitting room with large sash windows overlooking the garden. The double-aspect kitchen/breakfast room has a gas-fired Aga, and there is also a downstairs bathroom. Upstairs there are five double bedrooms spread over two floors, a family bathroom and a study. Outside the garden is mainly laid to lawn, and there is a garage and a workshop. Devanha is on the market with Roxland Estates at 745,000. For details call 01305 259629
Sherborne has excellent road and rail links. Digby Road Railway Station provides access to South West Trains and First Great Western services. Destinations include Yeovil Junction, Axminster, Gillingham and Salisbury. Major bus services are provided by South West Coaches, First Somerset and Avon, and Shaftesbury and District Motor Services. South West Coaches 01963 33124 and National Rail enquiries 08457 484950
Sport and Leisure
Sherborne Golf Club is an 18-hole parkland course with spectacular views across Blackmore Vale, as far as Glastonbury Tor and Cheddar on a clear day. Visitors are welcome. Book with the Pro Shop 01935 812274 or e-mail: email@example.com
Sherborne Rugby Football Club, established in 1980, is a friendly and hospitable club with around 400 registered members and players. About three-quarters of these are juniors coming through the system, so the future of the game in Sherborne looks very secure. www.sherbornerugby.co.uk
Sherborne Football Club takes part in several FA leagues, including Dorset Western League, Dorset Premier League and Dorset County Youth League. Sherborne Town FC was founded in 1894 and plays home games at its fine ground at Terrace Playing Fields. www.sherbornetownfc.co.uk
As well as two national supermarkets, Sherborne supports many independent businesses. In the bustling town centre you will find the latest boutique fashions, clothing for country pursuits, exclusive furnishings, decorative items for the home, local butchers and game suppliers, fine wine retailers, excellent bookshops, a handmade chocolate shop and greengrocers overflowing with locally produced fresh vegetables and fruit. Just off Cheap Street, Sherbornes main shopping street, are renowned art and antiques dealers and auction houses. There is an open-air market in Cheap Street on Thursdays and Saturdays, and a monthly Farmers Market every third Friday.
Explorer and buccaneer Sir Walter Raleigh was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who gave him the lands of the original 12th-century Sherborne Castle.
Sherborne Twinning Association
Sherborne has been twinned with Granville in Normandy since 1982. Any resident of Sherborne and the surrounding area can become a Twinning Association supporter and every year there are exchange visits, with members staying in friends homes en famille. During the year there are coach trips and garden parties, and the boules section competes in the Dorset Boules league. Information from John Snell, Association Secretary, 01935 813171
Out and About
There are some lovely circular walks starting from the middle of Sherborne. Public footpaths and bridleways lead to Oborne, Alweston, Longburton and other nearby villages. Maps and guide books are available from the Tourist Information Centre, Digby Road, 01935 815341 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherborne has several lovely public parks. Pageant Gardens in Digby Road dates back to the 1200th anniversary of the foundation of Sherborne in AD705. The new Paddock Garden was opened exactly 100 years later in 2005, and Newland Garden is a quiet shady spot near Sherborne House.
Sherborne Old Castle was built in the 12th century by Bishop Roger of Salisbury as a defended palace. A powerful Royalist base during the Civil War, it fell to General Fairfax during the English Civil War. English Heritage now manages the castle ruins, which are open to visitors. Details of opening times 01935 812730
Sherborne New Castle was built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, and has been the Digby family home since 1617. Splendid state rooms and collections of art, furniture and porcelain are on view. Capability Brown created the beautiful lakeside gardens and grounds in 1753. Castle, gardens, gift shop and tea room open daily, except Mondays and Fridays (open on Bank Holiday Mondays) from 11am-4.30pm, and on Saturdays the castle rooms open at 2pm. Information 01935 812072 or visit www.sherbornecastle.com
Sherborne Museum holds an exciting array of items covering the areas history, with displays spanning the centuries, including photographic and costume collections, and the magnificent Sherborne Missal a stunning 15th-century illuminated manuscript. The original is held in the British Library, but a state-of-the-art touch screen allows you to browse the Missals exquisite illustrations page by page. For opening information 01935 812252
This years Sherborne Abbey Festival, from Friday 30 April to Tuesday 4 May, features Lesley Garrett, The Tallis Scholars, Emma Johnson and Sherborne Festival Chorus, and jazz group Zum. Theres the UK premiere of Verdis Requiem for piano and organ, with Matteo Galli and Francesco Attesti. And Ruth Rogers and Morgan Szymanski will run workshops for violin and classical guitar before performing in the abbey. Further details from www.sherborneabbey.org
Sherborne Castle Country Fair
Started in 1995, the annual Sherborne Castle Country Fair has become a premier event on the show calendar. This years show, on Bank Holiday Monday 31 May from 10am to 6pm, features one of the largest Rare Breeds shows in the country, Croissant Neuf a solar powered circus, over 200 quality trade and craft stands and a food hall with local and speciality treats. Information 01749 814041, www.sherbornecountryfair.com
Sherborne in Dorset