Book design

Deepest Dorset

What does ‘deepest Dorset’ mean to you?
Is it losing yourself in narrow winding lanes? Is it searching for fossils on rocky reefs or enjoying open-air comedy in the pouring rain? Is it buying direct from the farm gate or savouring a taste of the season at a thatched village pub? Is it the stories of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex
or the dramas of Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch?


From stone carving on the Purbecks to rope-making in Bridport, from the bluebell woods of Cranborne Chase to the cherry orchards on Bulbarrow, from nettle-eating in the Marshwood Vale to Dorset Knob-throwing in the Frome valley, this is the Dorset that we know and love, with some fascinating facts that may be new to you.


Dorset is a county of contrasts, celebrating its history but looking forward to successfully blending tradition with innovation in the 21st century. All this and more… Deepest Dorset will inspire you to delve deeper still!


Written by Fanny Charles and Gay Pirrie-Weir and with contributors including: Julian Fellowes, Kate Adie, Anna del Conte, Chris Chibnall, Val Singleton, Eric Woods, Rose Prince, Tracy Chevalier and many more.

Raising funds for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, The Community Foundation’s Dorset Fund and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Deepest Dorset has been made possible by the generosity of The Rothermere Foundation.

Designing the book

As a Dorset resident I was thrilled to be asked to design this book. There were heaps of fantastic photographs to choose from (by Katharine Davies and my husband Philip Hartley) and an open brief on design. I wanted the reader to feel as if they had arrived at an old Dorset cottage, pulled up a chair around a rickety wooden table and had a good chat with the locals.


I suggested a hard back, square bound format with uncoated paper for a great feel and a decent page size to display the photos at a good size. Hand-drawn-style fonts were chosen to reflect the craftsmanship celebrated in the book. Personal accounts were displayed on notepaper and recipe pages were designed to look as if they were in an old recipe book on a table.

It took months of top secret hard work and I have learned so much about Dorset along the way! Since working on the book I have discovered Blue Pool and Cranborne and am looking forward to sampling some of the amazing food and drink produced in Dorset. Loved the photo essay on traditional boat building in Lyme Regis.

Proceeds of the book are all for charity and it can be ordered from

How to buy

The book is available by post or from farm shops, galleries and at various festivals around Dorset.


Price: £20

Size: 188 x 240mm


To order your copy contact

Gay Pirrie Weir 01963 32525

Let’s talk

Do you have a project you would like
to talk to us about?


Briony Hartley  

Tel: 07989 949646  

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