Where in Dorset? September 2016
15:11 24 August 2016
Martin Warwick ambles around a peaceful Domesday Book village located close to the Jurassic Coast
This month’s mystery location stands in a line of pretty and peaceful villages beautifully situated between one of Dorset’s busiest main roads and the Jurassic Coast. Its full name is a little misleading, but it does have high banked lanes leading down to it from the main road. One of these lanes - signed ‘Unsuitable for Heavy Vehicles’ - comes down the hill from the village inn which, much older than its name suggests, is built with mellow stone and topped by a slate roof. At a staggered junction with more stone houses and a high stone garden wall on the corner, it meets the village’s main street, named after a small stream, with lovely cottages both sides. Opposite the corner garden wall is a white-painted water pump box with a stone trough.
Down the central lane, there’s a tiny triangular green with a telephone box. I asked a lady who lived in the village as a young girl, what the square concrete cover on the green with a water channel below was. She told me it was where they used to collect fresh water, hence the name of the street.
By the green, a gated path leads up to the village orchard and the church. Approaching the church by road, you pass the village hall. The old school opposite, built from stone with a thatched roof, is now much extended into a lovely cottage.
The church stands on a high knoll overlooking village rooftops and, from the churchyard, there are lovely views to the gorse-clad hill which shares the village’s name. Except for the 15th-century tower, the church was re-built by John Hicks in 1862, the year his young assistant, Thomas Hardy, left and moved to London. So do you know which village we are in?
Send your answers to: Where in Dorset? (September), Dorset Magazine, Archant House, Babbage Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JA or you can enter via email firstname.lastname@example.org. The first correct answer selected at random on 30 September 2016 wins £25. July’s mystery place was Fortuneswell. The winner is Amy Buttrey from Verwood.