Weymouth is a seaside town in Dorset, about the same size as our own nearest town Weston-super-Mare, however the two are very different. We only spent an afternoon there but it was very picturesque and we decided we should come again, maybe for a couple of days and explore its charms.
Its name comes from it being situated on the mouth of the River Wey which is only seven and a half miles long. It rises in Upwey, once a separate village but now part of WeYmouth and there’s a wishing well there – somewhere else to visit, and make wishes! Apparently Weymouth started as two villages one on either side of the mouth of the Wey, the other one being Melcombe Regis, which is supposed to be the first port through which the Black Death entered England in June 1348. We spent most of our afternoon there wandering around the Melcombe Regis part of the town. As a port, the town was defended by two forts which were ‘device forts,’ or Henrician castles and blockhouses because they were built by Henry VIII – not him personally, obviously! They were built as protection against invasion but the town needed defences two centuries later from the landward side during the Civil War.
Weymouth, like other ports along the south coast, saw the departure of ships taking early settlers of North America across the Atlantic; during the 2nd World War it was also an embarkation point for troops crossing the channel. The harbour also served as a cross-channel ferry terminal and during the war. We saw plenty of fishing boats, and other boats offering trips and fishing and diving expeditions , and despite the present situation it seemed a busy and bustling place. We#re looking forward to going back some time!