The Dorset AONB is blessed with a rich heritage of historic buildings that give a distinctive character to our towns, villages and countryside.
From medieval manor houses to thirteenth century agricultural barns and majestic Saxon churches to imposing monasteries, you are never far away from an interesting old building.
Our historic buildings, many of which are protected, give us a valuable insight to how people once lived. With a huge variety of historic building types, the use of local materials such as Purbeck stone and thatch further enhances the local character of the Dorset AONB.
Agriculture has always been an important way of life in and around the Dorset AONB. Even today, 75% of the land is used for farming. One of the earliest surviving barns is a thirteenth century Tithe Barn at Cerne Abbas, and a thatched Tithe Barn at Abbotsbury is one of the longest in England.
Our historic buildings and the timeless interest they hold, help support our beautiful countryside today. In Milton Abbas, a glorious Abbey now stands where the once village has now been completely re-located and attracts tourists inland off the coast. The mystery of the ruins at Corfe Castle give an important identity to the Purbeck Hills and a real insight to the hostile environment Dorset once was.