Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Dorset

This page summarises the local government organisation of Dorset since 1889.

  • Dorset County Council was formed in 1889, and in 1894 a network of boroughs, urban district and rural district councils was formed across the county.
  • Dorset had a relatively large number of small Boroughs. These were Blandford Forum, Bridport, Dorchester, Lyme Regis, Poole, Shaftesbury, Wareham, and Weymouth & Melcombe Regis Municipal Boroughs. Corfe Castle Borough had been abolished in 1886. From 1894 there were also 5 Urban Districts: Branksome, Portland, Sherborne, Swanage, and Wimborne Minster Urban Districts. However, in 1905 Branksome UDC was abolished and it was merged into Poole Municipal Borough.
  • There were also 12 Rural District Councils covering the areas outside the major towns. These were: Beaminster, Blandford, Bridport, Cerne, Dorchester, Poole, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Sturminster, Wareham & Purbeck, Weymouth, and Wimborne & Camborne Rural Districts.
  • In 1933 there was minor reorganisation when Cerne, Poole, and Weymouth RDCs were abolished and absorbed by their neighbouring councils.
  • In 1974 further reorganisation saw Bournemouth (a Municipal Borough since 1890 and County Borough since 1900) and Christchurch (a Municipal Borough) transferred from Hampshire to Dorset. The old boroughs, UDCs and RDCs were abolished and replaced by 8 Districts: Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset, Poole, Purbeck, West Dorset, and Weymouth & Portland.
  • In 1997 Bournemouth and Poole both became unitary authorities.
  • Here is a map of the county and its modern districts.

    For a list of our Dorset maps go to the Dorset page, or for Bournemouth to the Bournemouth page.

  • Most maps in the Godfrey Edition are taken from the 25 inch to the mile map and reduced to about 15 inches to the mile. They cost just £ 3.00 each (Coloured editions £ 4.00). For a full list of English maps, return to the England page

  • You can order maps direct from our On-line Mapshop.
    Minor changes are not listed here, but please advise us of any significant errors or omissions.
    Alan Godfrey Maps, Prospect Business Park, Leadgate, Consett, DH8 7PW. Tel 01207 583388
    The Godfrey Edition / sales@alangodfreymaps.co.uk / 1 October 2016