THe Local area

History & Heritage

The area surrounding Lorton house is jam-packed with history that spans millions of years. There is of course the world-famous jurassic coast, but it’s also teeming with military and marine heritage too. All of the below will give you a good flavour of times gone by in our local area.

Fishing harbour in Weymouth, Dorset, UK.
4 miles


Weymouth is often known for its gorgeous blue flag sandy beach, which slopes gently along a broad natural bay in the centre of the town. However, the town is also steeped in history having been a well-used port for several centuries. If you’re visiting Weymouth you’ll never be short of things to do; from horseback riding to boat hire, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Portland castle on the isle of Portland Weymouth Dorset England UK
5 miles

Sandsfoot Castle

Constructed by Henry VIII to form part of the King’s defences against an invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire, Sandsfoot Castle can be found just outside Weymouth. The situ is actually close enough for it to be historically known as Weymouth Castle. Free from potential invasion, the ruins of this once impressive artillery fort can now be visited throughout the year. 

5 miles

Northe Foot

One of the most popular heritage attractions in Weymouth, Northe Fort stands proudly at the entrance to Weymouth Harbour. Offering 360 degree views across Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and a maze of underground passages, it’s a great day out if you’re wanting to immerse yourselves in a little history. It’s also so prominent that you’ll definitely see it even if you don’t visit! 

View of Dorset, St Catherine's Chapel and Chesil Beach. Unesco site.
7 miles

Dorset Museum

Dorset is steeped in history. How much? Well 250 million years of it if you count our gorgeous Jurassic coastline. The multi-award-winning Dorset Museum, located in Dorchester, brings all of this natural history together in one place for you to enjoy. From natural Dorset to the people that have called it home, including the renowned Thomas Hardy, this museum has it all. 

maiden castle iron age old fortress landscape nature grassland animals space beauty natural sheep; Dorset; England; UK
7 miles

Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle is one of the largest and most complex Iron Age hillforts in Europe – it’s actually so large it’s estimated to be the size of 50 football pitches. Its huge multiple ramparts, mostly built in the 1st century BC, once protected hundreds of residents. It now welcomes thousands of visitors every year and is looked after by English Heritage.
Taken at the end of a long day on the Atlantic coast in France these gun turrets were used during World War 2 to defend against ship firing shells up to two miles.
8 miles

D-Day Centre

Castledown D-Day Centre is an authentic recreation of the busy wartime dockyard on the Isle of Portland, from which in 1944, thousands of American troops of the 5th US Corps and the US 1st infantry, embarked, bound for heavily defended beaches of Nazi occupied France. This is a great day out for not only those interested in wartime history, but for all ages of the family. 

12 miles

Portland Bill

If it’s wall to wall views of the ocean you’re after then Portland Bill offers them in spades. Situated on the Southerly tip of the Isle of Portland the former lighthouse keepers’ dwellings feature fun and informative maritime displays and interactive games. There’s also a café for you to make the most of those views.

Discarded Russian military equipment
16 miles

The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum is a great place to add to your heritage bucket list if you’re interested in military memorabilia. With 100 years of history told through 300 tanks and 10 powerful exhibitions, it boasts one of the world’s finest collections of tanks. It’s also suitable for all ages and considered as one of the best local attractions. 

Corfe Castle ruins at sunrise in Autumn
23 miles

Corfe Castle

Now maintained by the National Trust, Corfe Castle was originally established by William the Conqueror and subsequently partially destroyed in the English Civil War. It’s now an utterly majestic and enchanting ruin that offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Purbeck countryside. Just like all National Trust locations, it’s worth visiting the tea-room during your trip!

homas hardy's cottage and garden, English countryside architecture, Dorset, England

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy is one of the most famous former residents of the area that surrounds Lorton House. If you’re an enthusiast there’s several places for you to explore. There’s of course his very own statue, which is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Dorset, as well as the cob and thatch cottage built by this great grandfather which would go on to become his birthplace.