This small, thriving market town has more than 200
listed buildings and lies at the head of the
undisturbed Vale of the River Brit amidst
picturesque hills. It was once famous for the
manufacture of cloth, rope and twine. Nearby
is Hackthorn Hill and the beautiful Toller
The 19th Century writer Thomas Hardy and poet William Barnes found inspiration here among the Tudor and Georgian buildings and quaint streets. Hardy transformed it into the fictional town ‘Emminster’ in his tragic tale ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’.
Nearby are the country houses of Mapperton, Melpash and Parnham. The town was the birthplace of Thomas Hine who emigrated to France in the late 18th Century and gave his name to Hine’s cognac based in Jarnac.