Bridport (1), Dorset
Bridport certainly existed in Alfred the Great's time between 871 and 899. South Street was originally the main part of the town with East Street and West Street being added during the 13th century. 'Port' had been added to the town's name by the time of the Domesday Book in 1086; 'port' meaning a trading town as opposed to having a harbour.
The 16th century facade of Bridport Museum is all that remains of the original building and its origins are unknown. There was a fire in the building in 1876 after which the building was heavily restored.
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The earliest parts of St. Mary's Church, in South Street, are 13th century and are to be found in the north and south transepts. Much of the rest of the building dates from the 15th century.
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West Bay, also known as Bridport Harbour, is a small harbour sited at the mouth of the River Brit approximately 1.5 miles south of Bridport.
The harbour at West Bay is not a natural landscape feature and it has a long history of having been silted up, blocked by shingle and damaged by storms, and each time repairs, improvements and enlargements have subsequently been made. It is easy to access the beach and cliffs from here.
If you go onto the beach and turn left (east) you will see the vertiginous East Cliff at West Bay and it is an impressive at 150 feet high. It is possible to walk along the beach for 1.5 miles to Burton Bradstock. An easy, spectacular flat walk and you could get the bus back to Bridport, walk back along the beach or walk back on the top of the cliffs but that would very definitely not be a flat walk.
Before attempting this walk make sure that the tide is on its way out otherwise you could become trapped.
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