Saturday, May 23, 2015

To Lower Bockhampton, Dorset, Great Britain.

Woodsford Castle, Dorset.
What remains today is just one side of a much larger building. Around 1660 the original turrets and battlements were replaced with an enormous thatched roof and it became a farmhouse. Its roof is believed to be the largest area of thatch on an inhabited house in this country.
After 600 years in the same family, Woodsford Castle was sold in 1977 to the Landmark Trust, the splendid charity that rescues historic buildings at risk and lets them for holidays; the other properties they let in Dorset are the Clavell Tower at Kimmeridge and the gatehouse of Wolfeton House.
It is now owned by The Landmark Trust and is not normally open to visitors.

Woodsford Castle is one of the biggest and the highest thatched houses in the area.

Woodsford Castle, which still stands on the banks of the River Frome near Crossways, complete with its thatched roof.

St. Andrew's Church, West Stafford.
The parish church of West Stafford is dedicated to St. Andrew.
In part dating from the fifteenth century and rebuilt around 1640.
A chalice dates from 1638 and a fine chandelier from 1713.

West Stafford.
Thomas Hardy, of course, was born within a mile of so of West Stafford at Bockhampton.
In his novels, West Stafford is called Talbothayes and the local church is where the fictitious wedding of Tess to Angel Clare took place in Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

The cottages and houses that line the roadside through the village date mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries built of cob and thatch.

This is the view of the Vale of Frome from the bridge at Lower Bockhampton.
In the novel, the twenty year old Tess journeys to the lush Froom Valley.
It is known as the Vale of the Great Dairies, in comparison to Tess's home, the fertile Vale of Blackmore, which is known as the Vale of Little Dairies.
(Thomas Hardy Locations, Tess of the Durbervilles)

Lower Bockhampton, bridleway.

Bridge over the Frome at Lower Bockhampton.

Lower Bockhampton, which Hardy called ‘Melstock’, was the setting for his famous novel ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’.

The Old Post Office. This picturesque 18th century thatched holiday cottage nestles within the pretty hamlet of Lower Bockhampton, noted as the setting for the Hardy novel ’Under the Greenwood Tree’.

A house of note is Stafford House which stands a short distance from the village West Stafford.
The Manor of Stafford also known as Bingham's Manor.
It is currently owned by the celebrated author, director, actor and Oscar winning screen-writer Julian Fellowes and his wife. Grade I listed.

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