Removals and storage in The Piddle Valley, Dorset
Pitmans offer house removals and commercial removals in The Piddle Valley, Dorset, with specialist packing services for antiques and fine art. Whether it’s a full house move or a single item, within the UK or across Europe, we offer a professional, safe and friendly service with full insurance, giving you peace of mind throughout the process.
The Piddle Valley: A potted history
Piddlehinton is a village and civil parish in the Piddle Valley five miles north of Dorchester. In the 2011 census the parish had a population of 403. Piddlehinton formerly constituted a liberty containing only the parish itself.
The local schools are Piddle Valley First School, St Mary’s Middle School in Puddletown, The Thomas Hardye School and Dorset Studio School in Dorchester, members of the DASP group. The village has one public house called The Thimble, but no shop or post office. In the adjacent settlement of White Lackington is another public house, called The European, though this is within the neighbouring civil parish of Piddletrenthide. The nearest shop is also in Piddletrenthide. St Mary’s Piddlehinton is the local church. A microbrewery – the Dorset Piddle Brewery – was established in Piddlehinton in 2008 and produces 300 gallons of ale every week.
During the build-up to D-day the US Army operated from an airstrip in Piddlehinton using Piper L-4 Grasshoppers of the 62nd Armed Field Artillery Battalion. The L-4 Grasshopper was a light aircraft that was widely used by the US Air Force for observation and liaison during the Second World War. It was called the Grasshopper because of its ability to take off and land on any sort of terrain and in very limited space. The exact location of the airstrip in Piddlehinton is unknown.
Piddlehinton is at the southern end of the Piddle Valley electoral ward, which extends north up the valley to Buckland Newton and had a population of 1,988 in the 2011 census.
Piddletrenthide is a village and civil parish sited by the River Piddle in a valley on the dip slope of the Dorset Downs, 8 miles north of Dorchester. In the 2011 census the parish, which includes the small village of Plush to the northeast, had 323 dwellings, 290 households and a population of 647.
The unusual name of the village is derived from its position on the River Piddle, combined with it having been assessed for 30 hides in the Domesday Book. The name sometimes prompts amusement and discussion.
In 1086 in the Domesday Book Piddletrenthide was recorded as Pidrie; it had 70 households, 17 ploughlands, 16 acres of meadow, three mills and a taxable value of 30 geld units. It was in Cerne, Totcombe and Modbury Hundred and the tenant-in-chief was Winchester Abbey. The manor’s estate was one of the largest in the county.
Piddletrenthide’s common arable fields were enclosed by an Act of Parliament in 1817.
In 1933 Piddletrenthide parish was enlarged by 816 acres (330 ha) to include the small village and tithing of Plush, which previously had been a detached part of the parish of Buckland Newton a few miles to the north.
All Saints parish church, situated on the northern edge of the village, has a claim to being one of the finest village churches in Dorset. The south doorway and piers of the chancel arch are Norman; the doorway inside the porch features typically Norman zigzag decoration. The tower dates from 1485 and has twin-light bell openings, numerous pinnacles and gargoyles. The nave and aisles are also 15th-century.
In 1852 the building was restored and the walls raised by John Hicks, the brother of the incumbent vicar. Hicks went on to restore and build more than 27 churches in the county. The chancel, by Ewan Christian, is from 1880. The church also has some excellent Victorian memorials. In the churchyard, to the south east side of the chancel, are two semi-circular headstones marking the graves of members of the Durbefield family. The family was immortalised by Thomas Hardy in his 1891 Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
The church is part of the benefice of the Piddle Valley, Hilton, Cheselbourne and Melcombe Horsey.
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.
The BBC Radio broadcaster Ralph Wightman (1901–1971), English lecturer, journalist, author, and radio and television broadcaster, came from here. Wightman was the model for Kenneth Williams’ country character Arthur Fallowfield and was noted in his radio broadcasts for his fine Dorset accent.
Plush is a small village in the Piddle Valley. It is sited in a small side-valley of the River Piddle at an altitude of 130 metres and is surrounded by chalk hills which rise to 251 metres at Ball Hill, a kilometre to the northeast, and 261 metres (856 ft) at Lyscombe Hill, a mile and a half to the east.
Plush consists of a few thatched cottages, a public house, a Regency manor house and a small church dedicated to St John the Baptist; the church was designed in 1848 by Benjamin Ferrey, a Gothic Revival architect and close friend of Pugin.
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