Purbeck District

Purbeck was a local government district in Dorset, England. The district was named after the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula that forms a large proportion of the district's area. However it extended significantly further north and west than the traditional boundary of the Isle of Purbeck along the River Frome. The district council was based in the town of Wareham, which is itself north of the River Frome.


Purbeck District
Purbeck shown within Dorset
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Non-metropolitan countyDorset
Admin HQWareham
Incorporated1 April 1974 until 1 April 2019
  TypeNon-metropolitan district council
  BodyPurbeck District Council
  LeadershipLeader and Cabinet (Conservative)
  MPsMichael Tomlinson
Richard Drax
  Total156.1 sq mi (404.4 km2)
Area rank(of 317)
 (mid-2018 est.)
  Rank(of 317)
  Density300/sq mi (120/km2)
98.8% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code19UG (ONS)
E07000051 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSY9223587441

The district was formed under the Local Government Act 1972 on 1 April 1974, from the former municipal borough of Wareham, Swanage urban district and Wareham and Purbeck Rural District. The district and its council were abolished on 1 April 2019 and, together with the other four districts outside the greater Bournemouth area, to form a new Dorset unitary authority.[1]

Its name is recorded in 948 AD as Anglo-Saxon Purbicinga, meaning "of the people of Purbic", where Purbic may be a former Celtic name, or may contain a supposed Anglo-Saxon word *pur or "male lamb".


Settlements with a population over 2,500 are in bold.

Places of interest

See also


  1. Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (25 May 2018). "The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole (Structural Changes) Order 2018". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

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