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Althelhampton via Wimborne Minster


19 August 2009

Non-members £3

Athelhampton, near Dorchester, is one of the finest examples of fifteenth century domestic architecture in Britain. Its rooms have Tudor oak panelling and furniture and remains the family home it has been for more than five hundred years. The Great Hall has a unique roof, heraldic glass and linenfold panelling.

There are 20 acres of beautiful grounds adjacent to the River Piddle. The grounds include eight walled gardens, containing fountains, pavilions and topiary and a fifteenth century dovecote.

We will stop for coffee and lunch at Wimborne Minster for around two hours. This Dorset town lies in the picturesque water meadows of the rivers Stour and Allen. The Minster church that gives the town its name was founded in 705AD, but the oldest part to be seen today is the 12th century tower, the rest is mainly of 13th/14th century date. On the west tower one can see the famous Quarter Jack which marks each 15 minutes. The figure has been a brightly uniformed Grenadier since c 1800, previously it was a monk. The Minster houses the chained library of 1686.

Opposite the Minster is the 16th century Priest’s House, now a museum (admission charge - £2 seniors) it has a furnished 17th century hall, 18th century parlour and Victorian kitchen. The house has a delightful walled garden of 1/3 acre with the 1920’s Boathouse Tea Rooms, serving tea and home-made cakes.

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