Bridport’s origins are Saxon and it has a long history as a rope-making centre, though many of its buildings date from the 18th century.
On the coast and within the town’s boundary is West Bay, a small fishing harbour previously known as Bridport Harbour.
In the 21st century Bridport’s arts scene has contributed to the town becoming increasingly popular with people from outside the locality. It has an arts centre, theatre, library, cinema and museum, and several annual events. It features as Port Bredy in the fictional Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s novels.