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The Mansel-Pleydell, Cecil and Drew Trust

Essay competitions

Prizes awarded

The Mansel-Pleydell Competitions


Mansel-Pleydell Trust essay competitions are open to anyone resident in Dorset (including Poole and Bournemouth) or having past or present connections with the county.


Click here for a download list of past winners.


Essay Competition No.1


This competition is for substantial essays (of about 10,000 words) reflecting original research into an aspect of Dorset’s local, cultural, archaeological or natural history and which shall be of sufficient standard and interest to be published in the Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society;


Sources used should be listed with full references. 


Essay Competition No.2


This competition is for shorter essays (of about 2,000 – 5,000 words) relating to an aspect of Dorset’s local, cultural, archaeological or natural history which should be of a standard to be a placed in the Dorset County Museum Library.


Rules of entry, terms and conditions


  • Closing date for entries is 31st December in each year.

  • All proposed subjects should be notified to the secretary before the 31st August in each year in order that proposals can be confirmed acceptable and within the terms of the Trust.

  • All entries must comprise material previously unpublished in whole or in part.

  • The original text of the essay, one further paper copy, and one electronic copy, should be submitted to the Secretary to the Trustees.  See below. 

  • Essays may be published in the Proceedings, or placed in the Museum library, at the Trustees' discretion.

  • The decision of the Trustees, who reserve the right to vary or withhold awards, shall be final.


All communications should be addressed to
the Secretary to the Trustees,


Mansel-Pleydell, Cecil and Drew Trust,
Dorset County Museum,

High West Street,



DT1 1XA. 


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