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Blandford Forum, or Blandford is a Town on the River Stour in Dorset, England. In the 2001 census the population was 8,747, now estimated to be 9,000 people. Blandford is the location of North Dorset's district council, though it is situated in the far south-east of the district. Nearby is the small village of Blandford St Mary. The town lies at the junction of the A350 and A354 main roads but is now skirted by a bypass.

The parish church of St Peter and St Paul is a classical building with a copula on top of the tower and was built in 1732.

To the south of Blandford a six arch stone bridge spans the slow-moving river Stour. Which was first hit by a steam powered lorry.

One of the largest industries in Blandford is the Badger Brewery which supplies Beer and Ale to public houses across the region.

 

Blandford has been a fording point since Anglo Saxon times, it was recorded as Blaneford in the Domesday Book, meaning ford of the river.

By the 13th century it had become an important market town, with a livestock market serving the nearby Blackmore Vale with its many Dairy farms.

The Latin word Forum, meaning market, was recorded in 1540. It was an important break on the journey between the port of Weymouth and the capital London. There is still a bi-weekly market held in the town.

Blandford Forum is often given as an example of a Georgian town, as the entire center was rebuilt at once in the 1700s, due to a fire, and is hence uniformly Georgian. All facades remain in fair to good condition.

In 1731 much of Blandford was destroyed in a fire. John and William Bastard rebuilt the town over the following 30 years and the town centre is an excellent example of Georgian architecture from the 1730s to 1760s.

There are a number of renowned private schools near Blandford, such as Knighton House, Bryanston and Hanford School (the general area of Dorset holding many of the nation's famous schools).

 

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