Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Marnhull, Dorset

There has been a village in Marnhull since Saxon times. It is located in the Blackmore Vale an area often called Hardy country.The village has around 2,000 residents

The church, St Gregorys, is very old and well worth a visit. The first church was built on this site in the twelfth (isn't that such an odd looking word) century. 

There is evidence of that church in the current building and one of the original pillars holds up part of the roof. 

As you can see, whoever carved those original capitals had a sense of humour. The faces likely represent the men who worked on that first church.  If so, it is nice that they have been captured this way, since rarely do we see the workers in portraits etc.

The church was enlarged on and off throughout the medieval period.The west part of the nave is coffered work from 1520 and there is a sixteenth century wagon roof in the north aisle. 

There is also a squint, or a hagioscope which permitted the congregation in the north transcept to see the high point in the mass when the consecrated host was elevated by the priest.

The altar is from the 17th century and here you see it decorated by the local ladies for the Jubilee celebrations.

The original 16th century paintings of the ten commandments, of which only scraps remain, are  mostly covered over by18th century paintings of the creed and the Lords prayer.

I hope you enjoyed this visit to an ancient English country church, until next time, Happy Rambles.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Some time ago, we visited Sir Walter Raleigh's Sherborne castle in Dorset.  Nearby is the ancient and charming town of Sherborne.

Set on the River Yeo edging onto the Blackmore Vale, the town is a picturesque mix of buildings, including those from medieval and Georgian eras.

I loved this archway.  Many of the buidings are constructed of  ochre-coloured hamstone from Ham Hill in Somerset.

Sherborne was the capital of Wessex and two of King Alfred the Great's older brothers are buried here in the abbey.

The Abbey was once a saxon cathedral and is now the Parish Church.

The Conduit is a hexagonal 16th-century building that originally stood in the cloisters on the north side of the abbey, where it served as a washing place for the monks. It was moved to  the southern end of Cheap Street after the dissolution of the monastery in 1539.

 I could not resist this street sign, since it also a street name that often appears in many of my favourite Georgette Heyer novels set in London. And of course there we find a 17century pub.

 Sherborne School for boys was founded by King Edward VI and occupies some of the original Abbey buildings.  I can imagine a Regency character attending school here, can't you?

The St John's Alms Houses

This building was licensed by Henry VI in 1437 and was designed to house ‘twelve pore feeble---old men and five pore feeble---old women’. Copies of the royal license and foundation deed are on view in the antechapel.

The construction of the almshouse began in 1440; the chapel was completed two years later and the remainder of the building in 1445. Eighteen elderly people from the town are still housed there today.  How about that for long term planning?

Here are a couple of lovely half timbered building from Tudor times.

And last but not least, although there are many Georgian buildings in the town, I fell in love with this one.

 Built in 1818 it was originally the Sherbourne Bank for saving.

And since I found my perfect Regency building, it is time to call it a day and wish you Happy Rambles Until next time.