Historic Weymouth :-
140 to 65 million years ago – Cretaceous Period
Brackish lagoons and swamps, followed by tilting of the crust and marine submersion – mass extinction of dinosaurs, emergence of mammals, flowering plants and grasses become the dominant land species
About 1800 BC – Bronze age settlers arrived from Brittany (Beaker civilisation)
About 750 BC – Iron Age Celtic invaders displaced earlier settlers
About 100 BC – Belgae migrants brought farming methods from the Low Countries
After AD 47 – Vespasian founded Durnovaria (Dorchester) and the small river port of Clavinium (near Radipole Lake). The Romans left in the 5th century.
AD 1110 – King Henry 1st granted the manors of Wike, Waimouth, Helwell, Portland and Melecum (“The Mill in the Valley”) to priors at St Swythun’s, Winchester.
1252 – Prior of St Swythun’s granted a charter to Weymouth and the Port was born
1348 – The Black Death arrived in Melcombe and spread throughout Britain
1377 and 1386 – French pirate raids caused the wool staple trade to move to Poole
By 1428 – Weymouth was the 3rd most important gateway for pilgrims heading for Compostella, Loretto and Jerusalem. A Dominican Friary was built, occupying land which now lies between St Albans St, Maiden St and Governor’s Lane.
1471 – Queen Margaret landed with Prince Edward in a doomed attempt to restore the Throne of Lancaster but her son was killed, she was captured and the War of the Roses was ended
1571 – Parliament passed an act to unite Weymouth and Melcombe, following many years of disputes and rivalry over profits from the Port.
1586 – Nicholas Abraham and J. Lambert returned from prison in Bilbao with rumours of the Spanish Armada.
1588 – 6 ships sailed from Weymouth, together with 33 ships from other British ports defeating the 139 ships of the Spanish.
1598 – Weymouth permitted by Queen Elizabeth I to return 4 members to parliament, the only borough outside London to be allowed this privilege till 1832
1623 – Robert Gorges sailed to Wessagusset, New England, became Governor and re-named the town “Weymouth”
1645 – Several hundred men slain in Civil War action
1789 – King George visited Weymouth for the first time
1805 – The Earl of Abergavenny sank in Weymouth Bay – 261 souls were lost
King George’s last visit to Weymouth – commemorated in 1808 by the carving of the White Horseman in the hills above Osmington
1824 – The Great Gale destroyed the Esplanade
1857 – The Great Western Railway and London and South Western Railway companies came to Weymouth. The line to Portland and the Harbour tramway both opened in 1865
1860 – The Nothe Fort was built, remaining active till 1956
1930 – The 6th Town Bridge was built across the Harbour
1944 to 1945 – 517,846 troops and 144,093 vehicles embarked for Normandy
1954 – The 1908 Pavilion burned down, reopening in 1960
1994 – Weymouth became the only port to host the start of the Tall Ships race for the third time
2012 – Olympic Sailing Events held in Weymouth (strictly Portland Harbour) – A sporting success, especially for Ben Ainslie (Gold), but a commercial flop for local businesses