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Where in Dorset? March 2014 competition

PUBLISHED: 12:06 28 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:06 28 February 2014

Archant

Martin Warwick finds a tiny village renowned for its tranquil ambience and historic religious connections

This month’s village lies in the Blackmore Vale, and Roland Gant says in his book Dorset Villages it is ‘a collection of farms and cottages named after a former religious foundation connected with the Augustinians but abandoned in the fifteenth century’. He says, ‘Approached by a winding lane, the thatched cottages, the farmhouse near the church and the church itself that seems to sit on the farmhouse lawn, are all very self contained’.

Sir Frederick Treves said in his 1914 book Highways and Byways in Dorset: ‘This tiny Rip Van Winkle village lies at the foot of the most engaging of all Dorset hills, made of green slopes, a cliff and a mantle of trees’. There’s a spring near the top of the hill named after the lady to whom the church is dedicated.

There’s a triangular village green, more a fair-sized field really, which Treves called ‘a small common with cows, surrounded by trees and by a few venerable thatched cottages’. But the little church itself is scarcely visible. You have to take the new footpath across the green to find it, or go down the cul-de-sac and past Church Farm, the site of the old priory. The church was rebuilt in 1799; inside it is light and bright with clear glass windows and a white-painted barrel roof. On the gable end, there is a stone bell cote with a conical cover and a stone ball on top. The old bell-wheel now hangs on the porch wall.

Treves said, ‘Any who may wish to find themselves right away from towns or who may long to bury themselves in the heart of the country, I would recommend (our village)’. In fact, so peaceful was our mystery village that Bournemouth Art Gallery hung several pictures in the church for safe-keeping during World War II. So do you know where we are?

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Send your answers to: Where in Dorset? (March), Dorset Magazine, Archant House, Babbage Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JA or enter online at competitions@dorsetmagazine.co.uk
The first correct answer selected at random on 31 March 2014 wins £25. January’s mystery place was Toller Porcorum and the winner is Nicola Barter of Coventry.

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