All Saints Church, Wyke Regis
Wyke Regis shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|District||Weymouth and Portland|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||DT4 9|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||South Dorset|
Wyke Regis / / is a village in south Dorset, England. The village is part of the south western suburbs of Weymouth, on the northern shore of Portland Harbour and the south-eastern end of Chesil Beach. Wyke is 15 kilometres (9 mi) south of the county town, Dorchester. The village has a population of around 5,500.
All Saints' Church in the village is known to have been frequented by King George III during his summer visits to Weymouth between 1790-1805. The church was the main place of worship for Weymouth citizens until the first sizeable church was built in the main part of the town in the 19th century. The victims of the wreck of the Earl of Abergavenny, including its captain John Wordsworth, brother of poet William Wordsworth, are buried in the churchyard as are bodies recovered from the wrecked East Indiaman Alexander. Construction of the church started around 1451; it took four years to build and was dedicated on 19 October 1455. The church is constructed of local stone brought from quarries on Portland and at Upwey.
Thanks to treacherous local currents and the long sweep of Chesil Beach on which many ships ran aground, the village, as well as the neighbouring Isle of Portland gained a reputation for both smuggling and the looting of wrecks. This reputation is reflected today in the name of a local public house, the Wyke Smugglers previously known as the Wyke Hotel.
Located close to the Fleet Lagoon of Chesil Beach is the Wyke Regis Training Area.
The major industry in the area was Whitehead Torpedo Works, which has now closed. As the major employer in the village, Whitehead's funded the building of two schools, which opened in 1897. Whitehead's expertise also led to the Royal Naval establishment at Portland becoming a major anti-submarine and torpedo warfare centre in both the First and Second World Wars. The Whitehead site is now a housing estate.
Wyke Regis Infant school is situated along Portland Road, while Wyke Regis Junior school is on the High Street. There is a Nursery school within the grounds of the Infant school. The Infant school has approximately 200 children, and the Junior school has about 350.
Wyke Regis looks over Chesil Beach and the Fleet lagoon to the west, the Isle of Portland to the south and Portland Harbour to the south and east. The South West Coast Path passes around the coast of the village, which is also around halfway along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
On Westhill Road is a folly known as Wyke Castle, dating from the nineteenth century and now divided into three dwellings.
- Census data Office for National Statistics, 2001.
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