Wimborne, the heart of the Corkscrew route. Named after the parish church, Wimborne Minster, the town is usually known by its shortened name of Wimborne.
This is the birth place and the home town of Charles Castleman, the founder of the Corkscrew Railway. Wimborne is one of Dorset’s most historic towns with large numbers of buildings dating back to the 15th century looking largely unchanged in the town centre.
This is a Saxon church built on the foundations of a Benedictine Abbey in 870. It is famous for its chained library as well as the tomb of King Ethelred, the brother of Alfred the Great.
Chains were attached to the edges of the books, not to the spine. So books are stored in their shelves with their spines to the back of the shelves. Usually the book was placed on a nearby lectern with the chain still attached and it was a common practice for a group of people to gather round and read the book together: the first book clubs, maybe?
Wimborne Minster bell tower houses an astrological clock dating from the early 1400s and the clock face shows the universe as rotating around the earth. In the 16th century, Copernicus demonstrated that, in fact, the earth orbits around the sun.
The famous smuggler, Issac Gulliver, was church warden at Wimborne Minster in the late 1700s, after he was pardoned for his smuggling activities. It is said that the church never had to purchase communion wine while he was churchwarden. Gulliver’s granddaughter married the brother of Charles Castleman of Corkscrew fame.
Home of Charles Castleman
Wimborne is the home town of Charles Castleman. He was born in Allendale House and trained and practised as a local solicitor. Corkscrew Railway was his idea and he was able to promote the idea locally and through Parliament. The Railway opened on 1st June 1847.
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World-Wide-Web, lived in Wimborne in the 1970s and 1980s, when working in the area. He is the ultimate connector of people and communities. He was also a keen train spotter in his youth.