Where in Dorset? August 2014 competition


- Credit: Archant

Martin Warwick explores a pretty hamlet below a high wooded hill where all is at peace


- Credit: Archant

If you know your Dorset churches, you’ll recognise historian Roland Gant’s description of our mystery hamlet’s church font immediately: ‘The font is pre-Conquest, hollowed out of the shaft of a column and intricately carved. But why was the bowl hollowed out of the wrong end so that the carvings of lion and wolf, horse and stag, all wound around with tendrils, are upside down?’ (Dorset Villages)

More recently, in Dorset’s Best Churches, Brendan Lehane wrote: ‘Next door, and seemingly all of a piece with the church is the handsome gabled 17th-century manor house’. He adds, ‘This is about the most agreeably remote and secluded settlement in the county’. It’s quite impossible to disagree with his sentiments. From the wooded hill, you can overlook the church, the manor house, a couple more houses and farm buildings and the patchwork of level fields stretching into the distance.

Staying with the ‘1854 rebuild of a 15th-century reconstruction of a Saxon or Norman original church’, Lehane writes: ‘From its brush with the 20th century, almost all the church seems to have gained is a stove (with a shiny stainless steel flue). The parishioners have not even admitted electricity, admirably preferring ten or so oil lamps bracketed to the walls. For the rest, little is notable except for the rare peace’. The lamps are still there, and the upside-down font, and the strong silver-painted iron-latticed outer doors, and so is the peace. The Manor Farm’s little barn on its staddle stones is ‘notable’ and practical. So, where are we?


Send your answers to: Where in Dorset? (August), Dorset Magazine, Archant House, Babbage Road, Totnes, TQ9 5JA or enter via email competition@dorsetmagazine.co.uk. The first correct answer selected at random on 31 August 2014 wins £25. June’s mystery place was Pentridge. The lucky winner is Amanda Brown.

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