A vital piece of Sherborne’s heritage saved for public benefit

    A vital piece of Sherborne’s heritage saved for public benefit

    Porter Dodson recently gifted a huge and beautifully illustrated map of Sherborne dating from 1834 to Dorset History Centre where it will be accessible to the public in perpetuity. The parchment map which measures 200 x 130 centimetres had for several decades been the focal point of interest in the Sherborne office’s board room but due to the office relocation in March, it proved impossible to accommodate the huge map in the new premises.

    The relocation of the Sherborne office from Melmoth House to new premises on Digby Road was an important step for Porter Dodson. The firm has been providing legal services in Sherborne for over 25 years and have built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality legal advice and support to clients, with this latest move ensuring that we continue to do that in a bright, agile and practical working space. Staff have always known the importance of the ancient map and the local community were extremely fond of it, so to preserve this for the future feels very special.

    The map was created by cartographer Thomas Percy who had been commissioned by the Wingfield-Digby family of Sherborne Castle. The map is unusually detailed and visually appealing and shows the town of Sherborne and a wide swathe of countryside around it. Each plot is numbered and information about owners and land usage can be found in the map’s accompanying book of reference or ‘terrier’. The quality of the workmanship is still very evident nearly 200 years later, it’s a vital resource for anyone interested in the history of Sherborne and stands as a very fine example of early nineteenth-century cartography.

    Sarah Stone, Partner based at the Porter Dodson Sherborne office said, “Porter Dodson can trace roots in Melmoth House back to 1899 and so Sherborne and its history is so important, and we are extremely happy to gift the map knowing it will be preserved and enjoyed by the public at large for generations to come”.

    The map is now safely housed at Dorset History Centre, the county’s archive service in Dorchester. There it will be carefully conserved and digitised. Sam Johnston, County Archivist said, “we are extremely grateful to Porter Dodson for this generous gift and are delighted to be adding such a fantastic item to the public collection".

    The experienced Sherborne office team continues to provide legal services to clients in Sherborne, Dorset, and the surrounding areas, specialising particularly in Private Client, Residential Property, and Commercial and Rural Property work.

    Original Percy Map - Sherborne

    Image credit: Dorset History Centre 

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