Filed under Dorset history

A Distracted Poet

Yet again in Joseph Pennel’s fine history of “Dosset”, he gives us a personal recollection, this time, of his schooldays, when he was taught by the well known poet, William Barnes: “He came to Dorchester from Mere… It was here, at a tender age, that I had my first experience of school life. My recollection … Continue reading


Cross Hands

Scattered around England are pubs called the Cross Hands, and sometimes Cross Keys,  titles that make no sense whatsoever, though some at least seem to be at crossroads, so partly explains the title. Much of this misinformation is due to the long disruption of the English Civil War, which put an end to much accurate … Continue reading

Telescopic Philanthropy

This is a term apparently coined by Dickens to describe how people donate to causes far afield whilst ignoring problems such as poverty on their doorsteps. It seems to be a practice of long standing: “Evershot, a neat, wholesome, over-grown village, which remains still modest and unassuming, although dignified by a railway station. As in … Continue reading

The Origin of Hell

Dorset is well provided with ancient hill forts, tombs and other archaeology. Here is a description of one of the most spectacular. I love the  fact that it provides  shelter for shepherds: “On the next height on the Portisham side of the monument [to Thomas Hardy, Nelson’s captain] is a cromlech called the Hell Stone. … Continue reading