Weymouth Facts

Weymouth is a town located in the English county of Dorset.

Facts About Weymouth

  • The town is located on a bay at the mouth of the River Wey.
  • In 2018, Weymouth’s population was just over 53,000.
  • It is Dorset’s third-largest settlement. Only Bournemouth and Poole are bigger.
  • Modern-day Weymouth is actually a combination of two historical settlements – Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, located on opposite sides of Weymouth Harbour.
  • Weymouth can trace its history back to the 10th century, and Melcombe Regis is believed to be the first port at which the Black Death came to England in the mid-14th century.
  • Melcombe Regis and Weymouth were combined in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I.
  • In 1635, emigrants from Weymouth boarded the ship Charity, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and founded Weymouth, Massachusetts, US. There is another Weymouth in Nova Scotia.
  • King George III holidayed in Weymouth more than ten times between 1789 and 1805. A painted statue of King George III (called the King’s Statue) was erected in 1810 to celebrate the King’s patronage of the town.
  • During the 19th century, Weymouth became a popular holiday destination.
Weymouth in the early-1900s
Weymouth in the early-1900s
  • Weymouth’s first lifeboat was stationed in the town in 1869.
  • During World War 1, more than 100,000 injured soldiers from Australia and New Zealand (many wounded at Gallipoli) were sent to Weymouth to begin their recovery.
  • Weymouth was targeted by German bombers in World War 2. More than 1000 buildings were destroyed, and more than 70 people were killed.
  • Many thousands of Allied troops departed England for the beaches of Normandy via Weymouth as part of the D-Day operation. It is estimated that, by the end of World War 2, more than half a million troops had passed through Weymouth.
  • Weymouth football team, Weymouth FC, is known as the Terras.
  • Weymouth has been used as a location in numerous movies and TV shows, including Far from the Madding Crowd (1967), The Damned (1963), and Dunkirk (2017).
  • Before he became a published writer, Thomas Hardy worked for an architect firm based in Weymouth. He wrote part of his novel Under the Greenwood in the town.
  • The famous architect Christopher Wren was MP for Weymouth in 1702.
  • The comedian Alan Carr was born in Weymouth, as was the comedian Andy Parsons, the long-distance swimmer Mervyn Sharp, and the rock-climber Brian Pinder Kellett.
  • Weymouth’s Jubilee Clock was gifted to the town by Sir Henry Edwards to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.
  • Popular tourist attractions in and around Weymouth include Nothe Fort (a 19th-century fort housing a museum), Weymouth Harbour, Weymouth Beach, Chesil Beach, Sandworld (a seasonal exhibition of sand art and sand sculpture), the Sea Life Adventure Park, St Alban Street (packed with boutique shops and artisanal stores), and Durdle Door.
  • The International Kite Festival is held at Weymouth every May, and the town hosts many other events during the year, including volleyball tournaments, motorcycle rallies, and an annual carnival in August.