Bryanston was originally the town of Brian de Lisle, a baron in the reign of King John. After a long ownership by the Rogers family, it was purchased by Sir William Portman who took part in the suppression of Monmouth's rebellion in 1685.

The present mansion, Georgian style in red brick, is seen at its best when you approach from the Badbury Rings road, descending the Blandford Hill.

It stands on a hill in the centre of the great park and is now the Bryanston public school. A magnificent setting for learning in these peaceful woods and the boys, like those at Canford further south, have excellent rowing facilities on the Stour.

Norman Shaw designed the building for the second Viscount Portman at the turn of the century. The architect Shaw was born in Edinburgh and studied in London, where he practiced. He was a leader of the trend away from Victorian style back to traditional Georgian design, as in New Scotland Yard (1888) and the Piccadilly Hotel (1905).

The main entrance gateway at the Blandford bridge is an imposing 18th century structure by Wyatt.

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