St Candida and Holy Cross
When Sir Frederick Treves wrote his superb description of Dorset around 1900, he describes the Marshwood Vale as ".....a somewhat sullen hollow, shunned by man for there is hardly a habitation in it." Yet in Norman times there was a castle with a vineyard and Robert de Maud was so taken with it that he was prepared to be indebted to the tune of "....£380, five marks, five palfreys and four Norway hawks to have the Barony of Mirswude." Indeed, according to the excellent guidebook, William the Conqueror thought so well of it that he appointed his personal Chaplain Guntard to the benefice. It was, at one time, the largest parish in England and claims to have been founded by Alfred the Great, who bequeathed it to his youngest son Ethelwald (890).
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