Dorchester lies on the banks of the River Frome and is the county town of Dorset. A historic market town, Dorchester was the home and inspiration of the author Thomas Hardy. If you are looking for a good read on your last minute trip to Dorset, then why not pick up a copy of The Mayor of Casterbridge, which was based on Dorchester. Dorchester’s history is rich and varied: archeologists have discovered settlements dating back to pre-historic times, and it is believed that different tribes have lived on the settlement since 4000BC. Today’s population of 19,000 has a long ancestry indeed!