Read our Entry in this 1819 Guidebook below...
Bere Reois — The little market-town of Bere Regis is situated in the Blandford division, seven- miles west by north from Wareham, and 113 south-west from London. Drs.Stukeley and Coker conjecture that this place was the site of a Roman station ; an opinion which is confirmed by a large circular entrenchment upon Woodbury Hill, about half a mile north-cast of the parish.
The area of this place, which contains about ten acres, is surrounded by triple ramparts, that in some places are high and deep. On the summit, which commands a very extensive prospect, a fair is annually holden.
This fair begins on the Nativity of the Virgin, and continues through the five following days : though of late years it has much decreased, it was once the most considerable in the west of England.
Queen IClfrida, to whom the manor belonged, is. said to- have retired to her seat in this place, ai'teir the murder of her son-in-law, Edward the Martyr. Kin;* John also appears to have made it his resilience.
In the reign of Henry III. the manor was bestowed on Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester ; but, as a consequence attending his rebellion, it was taken from him, and granted to the King's brother, Edmund. Edmund gave a moiety of it to the Abbess of Tarent, who, in the reign of Edward the First, claimed lor her manor of Bere, a fair, a market, a free-warren, and the whole forest of Berc.
Her moiety of these was granted her.
At the Dissolution, Henry VIII. for the sum of 608/. 16s. Sd. granted the manor to Robert Turberville, to whose ancestors the other moiety had belonged for ages.
The mansion of the Turbervilles still remains : it is an ancient irregular structure, built with stone, and its windows contain various quarterings of the Tur- berville family and its alliances.
Bere Regis, though it does not appear ever to have been represented in Parliament, was incorporated in the time of Edward the First. Its market is ancient, as appears from King John's having confirmed it to the inhabitants.
The church is a large and handsome structure, »ivl contains numerous monuments of the Turber- ville and other families.
The town of Bere Regis has suffered twice by fire: once in 1634, and again in 1788.
The number of houses at present is 217 ; of inhabitants, 053.
The most distinguished natives of the place have been James Turberville, Bishop of Exeter, and John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury.