This wonderful day out married the best of Dorset churches with the best of Dorset countryside in the best of Dorset weather.
Organiser Sue Smith had selected the Bride Valley for the attentions of a group of over 40 Friends of DHCT and the group met at St Michael and All Angels, Little Bredy, where Sir Philip Williams invited everyone for coffee in the village hall at the beginning of the day.
This emphasised the family feel of these outings, as we were able to take a peek at the beauties of Bridehead before looking at the church itself, which the Trust has recently supported with a grant towards refurbishments.
St Peter’s Long Bredy is found in a setting of rural delight and a focus of attention was the outstanding table tombs in the yard, as well as the church and tower.
Dropping down the valley to Litton Cheney, the group found St Mary’s church large for a Dorset village but retaining some of its very impressive 13th century masons’ work.
By now having worked up a good appetite on a hot day, the group was happy to arrive at The Crown Inn, Puncknowle, where lunch had been ordered, before investigating the church of St Mary the Blessed Virgin. This is a building full of interest and history, starting from the Norman chancel arch and running through to the present day.
To conclude a much enjoyed ‘crawl’, the party doubled back eastwards to St Michael’s, Winterbourne Steepleton. This, too, is a church full of fascinating features, but attention was inevitably focussed on the amazing survival of the famous Saxon angel, now located inside the church.
The day concluded with tea and cakes, as well as hearty thanks, proposed by the Chairman Simon Pomeroy, to our architectural historian, Dr Tim Connor and stained glass expert, Sue Smith. Many people had worked to make this event such a delight, including David Bruce-Payne, who entertained the group with organ music where this was possible.
Simon Pomeroy concluded by saying that this would be the last crawl before the Ride+Stride, the Trust’s major fund-raising event on 9th September. He wished all well with this important day in the DHCT year.