We just arrived yesterday after driving here from London. It is incredibly gorgeous here in Hardy country (Thomas Hardy lived here) with thatched cottages, ancient churches & pheasants running about. It's just like an episode of The Vicar of Dibley. Seriously! Maybe a bit quieter...
Today we visited Dorchester and then this historic house (above) called Athelhampton Court outside Puddletown. It was first built in 1485 as a hunting lodge/deer park for the King and in the 1800's Inigo Jones designed the sensationally gorgeous gardens. The house was a bit dark & creepy really but the garden was truly wonderful.
This funny little gargoyle was sitting on the arch of the doorway to the house. He's kinda cute, huh? I wonder how old HE is...
This is an example of the villages around here. This man was pruning his hedges in Piddlehinton. In case you are wondering by now, YES... we are in the Piddle Valley. There is a whole lot of "piddling" and "puddling" going on.
And here is the famous Cerne Abbas "chalk man". No-one knows for sure how old he is but there are definite records dating back to the 15th century. The sheep were enjoying nibbling on him. We couldn't get any closer unfortunately. I wonder whether, rather than being Neolithic, The Chalk Man was put there by some of Richard the Third's men up to high-jinks between battles! It's just a theory... Do you think the historians will buy it?
I love this woman's gentle face, carved into the window frame of St Mary's church in Piddletown. Inside the church are the tombs (I think) of knights and their maidens dating to 1300. Sir William Martyn and his family of knights through the generations. The "youngest" tomb is early 16th century. Freaky!!! Just as well we are flying home on Thursday because I have just about reached dew point on the history scale.
Last stop of the day was at The Piddle Inn at Piddletrenthide for a 1/2 pint of Piddle Ale. Amazingly, I did not need to have a Piddle whilst AT The Piddle. Now sitting in the ingle nook of The Brace of Pheasants having dinner. Spud is having lamb's fry - yuk, yuk, yuk :o( Okay so I am having a MORSEL of black pudding but it's not the same! OMG, speaking of meat... the bacon at brekky this morning was magnificent! It was about 6mm thick and so tasty. It puts Aussie bacon well & truly to shame.
PS: today was about relaxing. It was! Tomorrow we take on Lyme Regis where I intend to find a fossil or two. Wish me luck!
Note re the WEATHER: The Times today informed us that the temperatures in London on Saturday (the train/bus day) were higher than in some parts of the Sahara!! It is a lot cooler in Dorset than in London but we really have the wrong clothes.... Today and yesterday, the sky was blue, blue, blue with not a cloud to be seen. However, this evening the fog rolled in at about 6pm and the locals say this signals the end of the good weather.
There is a couple sharing this pub with us & all they do is squabble. Break up you two! You are OBVIOUSLY not suited.... Or maybe they are.