Wanderings in Wessex eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 332 pages of information about Wanderings in Wessex.

[Illustration:  DURDLE DOOR.]

East Lulworth is a charming old village, three miles from the cove and two from West Lulworth.  Close to it is the castle that completes the picture at Arish Mel.  The church, much altered and rebuilt, is Perpendicular, and in it are interesting memorials of the Welds to whom the castle has belonged since 1641.  This family are members of the Roman church, and a fine chapel for adherents of that communion was built in the park at the end of the eighteenth century.  It is said to be the first erected in England since the Reformation.  The ex-king Charles X of France sought and found sanctuary at Lulworth Castle in August, 1830, as Duke of Milan.  He was accompanied by his heir, the Duke of Angouleme, and the Duke of Bordeaux.




The railway from Wareham to Dorchester runs through the heart of that great wild tract that under the general name of Egdon Heath forms a picturesque and often gloomy background to many of Mr. Hardy’s romances.  These heath-lands are a marked characteristic of the scenery of this part of the county.  Repellent at first, their dark beauty, more often than not, will capture the interest and perhaps awe of the stranger.  Much more than a mere relic of the great forest that stretched for many miles west of Southampton Water and that in its stubborn wildness bade fair to break up the Saxon advance, the heaths of Dorset extend over a quarter of the area of the county.

Wool is five miles from Wareham and is the station for Bindon Abbey, half a mile to the east.  The pleasant site of the abbey buildings on the banks of the Frome is now a resort of holiday-makers, adventurers from Bournemouth and Swanage, who may have al-fresco teas through the goodwill of the gatekeeper, though it would appear that they must bring all but the cups and hot water with them.  The outline of the walls and a few interesting relics may be seen, but there is nothing apart from the natural surroundings to detain us.  The old red brick Manor House, close to the station, and in plain view from the train, was a residence of the Turbervilles, immortalized by Hardy.  Of much interest also is the old Tudor bridge that here crosses the Frome.

[Illustration:  PUDDLETOWN.]

At Wool the rail parts company with the Dorchester turnpike and soon after leaves the valley of the Frome, traversing a sparsely populated district served by one small station in the ten miles to Dorchester, at Moreton.  Here a road runs northwards in four miles to the “Puddles” of which there are several dotted about the valley of that quaintly named river.  Puddletown, the Weatherbury of the Wessex woods, is the largest and has an interesting church, practically unrestored.  The Athelhampton chapel here contains ancient effigies of the Martin

Project Gutenberg
Wanderings in Wessex from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook