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19-Sep-2019 19:21

Some 2,000 of these rebels offered battle to Lord Fairfax's Parliamentary army at Hambledon Hill but they were easily routed.

Sherborne Castle was taken by Fairfax that same year and in 1646 Corfe Castle, the last remaining Royalist stronghold in Dorset, was captured after an act of betrayal: both were subsequently slighted.

During the Second World War (1939–1945) Dorset was heavily involved in the preparations for the invasion of Normandy: beach landing exercises were carried out at Studland and Weymouth and the village of Tyneham was requisitioned for army training.

Tens-of-thousands of troops departed Weymouth, Portland and Poole harbours during D-Day and gliders from RAF Tarrant Rushton dropped troops near Caen to begin Operation Tonga.

Agriculture was traditionally the major industry of Dorset but is now in decline and tourism has become increasingly important to the economy.

The county has a variety of museums, theatres and festivals, and is host to the Great Dorset Steam Fair, one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe.Farming has always been central to the economy of Dorset and the county became the birthplace of the modern trade union movement when, in 1834, six farm labourers formed a union to protest against falling wages.The labourers, who are now known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, were subsequently arrested for administering "unlawful oaths" and sentenced to transportation but they were pardoned following massive protests by the working classes.The first recorded Viking raid on the British Isles occurred in Dorset during the eighth century, and the Black Death entered England at Melcombe Regis in 1348.

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Dorset has seen much civil unrest: in the English Civil War, an uprising of vigilantes was crushed by Oliver Cromwell's forces in a pitched battle near Shaftesbury; the doomed Monmouth Rebellion began at Lyme Regis; and a group of farm labourers from Tolpuddle were instrumental in the formation of the trade union movement.Dorset experienced an increase in holiday-makers after the war.