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Gillingham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Dorset  /  Gillingham
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Gillingham is a town and civil parish in the Blackmore Vale area of Dorset, England. It lies on the B3095 and B3081 roads in the North Dorset administrative district, approximately 4mi south of the A303 trunk road and 5mi northwest of Shaftesbury. It is the most northerly town in the county. In the 2011 census the civil parish had a population of 11,756. The neighbouring hamlets of Peacemarsh, Bay and Wyke have become part of Gillingham as it has expanded.Gillingham is pronounced with a hard initial 'G' as in 'Goat', unlike Gillingham, Kent, which is pronounced with a soft 'G' as in 'Germany'.HistoryThere is a stone age barrow in the town, and evidence of Roman settlement in the 2nd and 3rd centuries; however the town was established by the Saxons. The church of St Mary the Virgin has a Saxon cross shaft dating from the 9th century.The name Gillingham was used for the town in its 10th century Saxon charter, and also in an entry for 1016 in the annals, as the location of a battle between Edmund Ironside and the Vikings. In the Domesday Book in 1086 it is recorded as Gelingeham, and later spellings include Gellingeham in 1130, Gyllingeham in 1152 and Gilingeham in 1209. The name derives from a personal name plus the Old English inga and hām, and means a homestead of the family or followers of a man called Gylla.
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