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When planning my trip to the village, I had read that there was a rather interesting church there. As I finished my cup of tea after my visit to the Ivy House Garden (NGS) I asked Bridget, the owner, where it was. I could have walked there, but decided to go in my car as it would have added 30 minutes’ delay to the cats’ teatime!

On my way back to my car, I saw this.

The Piddle Inn appears to be a hotel only now, not a hostelry. But on my drive to the church, I passed two pubs, so it would appear that Piddletrenthide is well served for ale, and eating out opportunities.

Once parked, I found the River Piddle in a more natural state than I had seen it previously, strictly channelled parallel to the main street. The River Piddle is very little:

It can be/has been spelt rather differently:

This so attractive garden was right by the church. I hope the owners don’t mind my including the picture I took of it here.

I entered the churchyard,

and almost the first thing I saw was this:

“William [and] Thomas Dumberfeild Members of the family immortalised by Thomas Hardy in ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles'”
Sundial over the church porch. It can’t have worked for a very long time, as it is in the shade of a splendid, large tree.

Some wording can just be made out over the west door. To quote the Wikipedia entry, “Over the west door of the church-tower is the Latin inscription: “Est pydeltrenth villa in dorsedie comitatu Nascitur in illa quam rexit Vicariatu 1487“. The inscription translates as: “It is in Piddletrenthide, a town in Dorset [where] he was born [and] is Vicar, 1487.” As the vicar in that year was Nicholas Locke, presumably the tower was dedicated to him. This is an early use of Arabic numerals in England at a time when the use of Roman numerals continued for another century elsewhere in England.”

The reference to Arabic numerals set me on their trail, since these are the figures saying 1487.

Not entirely recognisable to me. But this article explains all. That’s how Roger Bacon (c1220-1292) would have written those digits.

I was delighted to find the church was open to visitors.

Bridget had told me that the church had a lovely acoustic. I was on my own there, and, inspired by this window, I sang a verse from ‘The Holly and The Ivy’, the one with the words, ‘As white as the lily flower’. Yes, the church’s acoustic was neither too resonant nor too dry.

I could get no nearer to this monument, no doubt relating to someone very important in the history of Piddletrenthide.

The last pictures (but not text, far from it!) are of a few of the many hassocks which were grouped together in the lady chapel’s pews. A notice explained that the church in the nearby village of Plush had been declared redundant in 1988, and that these had been worked by ‘some of the ladies of Plush’ between 1978 and 1980.

I took many more hassock photos than this, but, fortunately for the length of this post, I forgot to steady my hand sufficiently to ensure little blurring in the fairly dim light. (I couldn’t resist, even so, including the image of the cyclists.)

The expedition ended with a lovely drive back over the Dorset hills, and a welcome from clamouring cats.

On Sunday morning I woke up with a jolt. I had left my walking pole, in its collapsed state, by the table I had sat at in the garden. While I recalled throwing my coat on the back seat of my car, I had no recollection whatever of picking my pole up at Ivy House, and putting it in my boot.

Oh! Already, I had felt guilty about driving quite a distance to get to Piddletrenthide, and now I was faced with another such journey. I researched the cost, and to the best of my ability the environmental cost, of buying a new walking pole, but found that they only came in pairs, and they were pretty expensive.

I decided that I should go back for it, but combine it with visiting some other attraction in the area. I was due to I have my 4th jab this (Tuesday) morning, so thought I would go on to Cerne Abbas, to see the Giant carved into the chalk hillside, have a meal at one of the two pubs in Piddletrenthide, perhaps the Poachers Inn since, “At the northern end of the village, reached by a footpath from the Poachers Inn, is Morning Well (or Mourning Well), where several springs feed into the River Piddle. In his book Portrait of Dorset Ralph Wightman described it as where “springs bubble out of the base of a steep wooded hill into a shady pool….It is an enchanted place, raising memories of holy wells and pagan groves.”, (Wikipedia again.) Then I would hope to pick my walking pole up after lunch.

So first thing this morning, I rang Bridget to check that it would be convenient to call at Ivy House then, and she told me that, despite extensive searches, they had not found my walking pole.

While we were still connected by phone, I went to my car, checked the boot, and saw that the walking pole was there. Oh! I was absolutely mortified, and made my profound apologies to Bridget for having troubled her. Which I do so again publicly in this post.

At least you are spared your blushes about the Cerne Abbas Giant, that is, unless you click this link.