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In the 14th and 15th centuries, like other Dorset coastal towns, Bridport suffered heavy losses due to frequent outbreaks of the Black Death; one 14th-century account by Geoffrey Baker recorded that the disease "almost stripped the seaports of Dorset of their inhabitants".

The town's most notable landmark is the conical Colmers Hill, its distinctive shape and small clump of summit trees being very noticeable from West Street.

Bridport is a Met Office coastal weather observation point.

The hills east of the town, around Walditch and Loders, are also mostly of Bridport Sand capped by Inferior Oolite, with the Beacon Limestone outcropping near their base and the undifferentiated sands closer to the town.

To the south east however, the faults running east from the lower Brit Valley are associated with a change to slightly younger material, mostly calcareous mudstones and sandstones (Fuller's Earth, Frome Clay and Forest Marble), with small outcrops of Cornbrash limestone and Kellaways Formation to the south of Bothenhampton parish church.

In county council elections, Dorset is divided into 42 electoral divisions, with Bridport being within two: Bridport Electoral Division (the majority of the town) and Bride Valley Electoral Division (includes Bothenhampton, Bradpole and St Andrew's Well).

Bridport is in the county of Dorset in South West England, in the West Dorset district.

The built-up area of Bridport extends into the neighbouring parishes of Allington, Bradpole and Bothenhampton, as well as covering Bridport parish.

In the 2011 census the population of these four parishes was 13,568.

The geology of Bridport comprises rocks formed in the Pliensbachian, Toarcian, Aalenian, Bajocian, Bathonian and Callovian ages of the Jurassic Period, overlain by superficial Quaternary deposits of alluvium alongside the rivers.

There are several faults in the area, including the Mangerton Fault, which is aligned SSW-NNE and runs from West Bay up the valleys of the River Brit and Mangerton River.

These include Allington, Skilling, Coneygar, Bothenhampton, Bradpole, Court Orchard and St Andrew's Well.