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Where in Dorset? Win £25!

PUBLISHED: 12:27 02 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:27 02 September 2013

The sturdy church gates

The sturdy church gates

Archant

Martin Warwick explores a village in a tree-filled valley

When the trees are in full leaf, this is a shady cloistered place and, at any time, the church tower is partially obscured by a huge yew tree. Historian Jo Draper describes our mystery village as: ‘Small, isolated, attractively set, with luxuriant trees and shrubs’. The church, set high up above its stone wall, is worthy of note. The varnished wooden gates onto the road have ‘Arts and Crafts’ style hinges and a latch. The church tower dates from the 15th century but the rest was rebuilt in 1838 and described by Nicholas Pevsner as ‘allowed to look like a real medieval church in scale and materials’. There’s nowhere to sit in the churchyard but, just down the hill, next to the telephone box and a row of stone cottages is a comfortable wooden bench outside the village hall

The hill up to the grain drying sheds, of which there are many, is sunken and shaded by trees; with a gradient of 14%, it’s not easy to ascend. Then again, being entirely surrounded by chalk hills it’s not easy to leave this village on foot in any direction. Near the lowest end of the village, a driveway turns into Lower Dairy where the cottages and farm buildings have been beautifully converted into desirable residences and, through to the other side, a bridleway runs along the valley floor, with sheep busily cropping the hillsides’ grass.

One final clue is the village’s connection with Canterbury. Depending on who you’re talking to, the church is dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury or St Thomas à Beckett but has this additional clue helped you to work out which lovely Dorset village we are in?

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Send your answers to: Where in Dorset? (September), Dorset Magazine, Archant House, Babbage Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JA or enter via dorsetmagazine.co.uk. The first correct answer selected at random on 30 September 2013 wins £25. July’s mystery place was Symondsbury and the winner is J Bland of Poole.

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