Famous Dorset Residents

As Dorset is such a beautiful place, it is no surprise that is has been home to a number of famous characters. Below are a list of names that all have walks/runs/rides running alongside estates, properties and landscapes linked to the different personalities (without invading privacy!).

Sir Walter Raleigh (c.1554-1618) – A once favourite of Queen Elizabeth I

James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (1649-1685) – Led the Monmouth Rebellion to depose of James II

Vice Admiral Hardy (1769-1839) – ‘Kiss me Hardy’

Mary Anning (1799-1847) – Lyme Regis Fossil collector

William Barnes (1801-1886) – Victorian poet, famous for using Dorset dialect

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) – Victorian poet and author

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) – Writer of the James Bond novels

Buster Merryfield (1920-1999) – Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses, lived in Blandford.

John Quinlan Terry (1938) – Architect, educated at Bryanston School.

Charlie Waite (1949) – Photographer

Julian Fellowes (1949) – Director and Oscar winner, writer of Downton Abbey

Billy Bragg (1957) – Musician

Sir Richard Drax (1958) – Conservative MP and largest individual landowner of Dorset

Jasper Conran (1959) – Designer

Kirsten Scott Thomas (1960) – Actress

Martin Clunes (1961) – Actor, famous for the grumpy Doc Martin.

Johnnie Boden (1961) – Fashion designer and founder of fashion brand Boden

Mark Hix (1962) – Chef, owner of The Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (1965) – Chef and founder of The River Cottage

Guy Ritchie (1968) – Film Director. Owner of Ashcombe House and Compton Abbas airfield

PJ Harvey (1969) – Musician

Kirsty Allsopp (1971) – Property developer

Bear Grylls (1974) – Explorer

Chris Martin (1977) – Musician, attended Sherborne School for boys.

Katherine Ryan (1984) – Canadian comedian, traced her ancestors back to Corfe Castle on the BBC series ‘Who Do You Think You are?’

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