Wool, Dorset

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Wool, frontages and phone box, High Street - geograph.org.uk - 1415372.jpg
High Street, Wool
Grid reference: SY839865
Location: 50°40’44"N, 2°13’8"W
Population: 5,310  (2011)
Post town: Wareham
Postcode: BH20
Dialling code: 01929
Local Government
Council: Dorset
South Dorset

Wool is a large village on the River Frome in southern Dorset. The 2011 census recorded in the parish 2,015 households and a population of 5,310, though this includes the army base at Bovington Camp.

The village stands at a historic bridging point on the Frome, half-way between Dorchester and Wareham.

Woolbridge Manor House, a 14th-century building, is a prominent feature just outside the village and the location of Tess's honeymoon in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Other prominent features of the village include the mediæval church of Holy Rood, the railway station on the South Western Main Line to London Waterloo from Weymouth, and the thatched cottages along Spring Street.

Woolbridge Manor

The place-name 'Wool' is first attested in Anglo-Saxon Writs from 1002 to 1012, where it appears as Wyllon. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it appears as Wille and Welle, and as Welles in 1212 in the Book of Fees. The name means 'springs' in the sense of wells.[1]

Near Wool, to the east of the village, are the ruins of Bindon Abbey, which was demolished in the Dissolution of the Monasteries of 1539, the stone being used to build castles in Portland, Lulworth and Sandsfoot.

According to local knowledge, only one building was destroyed during the war – on 3 May 1941. The building was a small bungalow by the name of "Two Birches", located on Bailey's Drove. The house was later rebuilt.

About the village

A small single-lane hump-backed stone bridge, a Grade II* listed structure about 20 yards north of the railway station, is no longer used for vehicular traffic. The place name Wullebrigg, recorded in 1244, indicates a crossing here in the thirteenth century and there is an extant record from 1343 of a bridge crossing the River Frome at this point. It has a stone half-way along it stating that those who deface or damage the bridge will be liable to transportation for life. In January 2018 one of the bridge's stone parapets collapsed, undermined by floodwater, but the arches remained undamaged.[2]

Local places of interest include The Tank Museum and Monkey World.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Wool, Dorset)


  1. Ekwall, Eilert, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 1960. p. 532 ISBN 0198691033
  2. National Heritage List 1171233: Wool Bridge, East Stoke