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Celebrating 450 years of Weymouth

Weymouth 450 events

Celebrate Weymouth 450 in style. Here are some of the events that will be taking place in Weymouth over the next year.

You can search all Weymouth events on our events calendar.

Apply for a grant to arrange a Weymouth 450 event

This year marks 450 years from when Weymouth and Melcombe Regis were combined by way of Royal Charter.

We want to celebrate this landmark anniversary with exciting events and activities involve the whole community. That’s why we’re offering grants for local community groups, or not-for-profit organisations.  

Whether it’s a picnic in a park, an art-based activity or event celebrating our history and culture, we’d love to hear your ideas. 

Download an application form and send it to office@weymouthtowncouncil.gov.uk by 1 June to get started.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like some help with completing the application.

Weymouth 450 – the history

Weymouth started life as 2 separate, independent towns, one on each side of the River Wey. This year marks 450 years from when Weymouth and Melcombe Regis were combined by way of Royal Charter.

While it’s thought Weymouth was established as early as the 10th century and its first charter was granted in 1252, it was confined to the south and west of Weymouth Harbour. It’s thought Weymouth was the earlier of the 2 settlements, formed from a small huddle of fishermen’s huts and dwellings.

The 2 settlements shared the river that lay between them, which provided both towns with a steady income from shipping and fishing. From as early as the 13 Century, there were disagreements over the ownership of the harbour and profits from the stretch of water between the towns.

The disagreements and assertions over the rights continued over centuries and reached a pivotal point under the reign of Elizabeth I. Constant petitions to the Queen and her Privy Council resulted in her officials attempting to intervene to broker a peaceful agreement. Their attempts failed.

The Queen and her ministers then used Parliament to bring about a solution to the ongoing problem. In April 1571 an Act of Parliament was passed, forcing the towns into a union, creating the new Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis.

The construction of the first bridge over the harbour in the early 1590s was the first physical recognition of the union and strengthened the identity of the 2 settlements as one town.

With thanks to Richard Samways from the Weymouth Museum for the information. Read more about Weymouth’s history