Affpuddle - St Laurence

Postcode for SatNavDT2 4HH
O.S. Landranger Map reference194-805936
Points of InterestAffpuddle (DT2 4HH) - 194-80Washington family connection - American

AffpuddleIn 'Highways & Byeways in Dorset', Sir Frederick Treves wrote "No more lovable village church than this is to be found in the county".  This delightful little church nestles close to the river in its generous churchyard.  Although medieval in origin, successive generations often altered it between the C12 and C19, but the result is very pleasing.  It has a splendid perpendicular style tower (1462), decorated with flint and ashlar chequer work and replete with gargoyles and heraldic beasts.

There is an excellent C13 inner door, two Norman fonts (one from the now redundant Turners Puddle), pulpit and pew ends (1545: restored 1883) decorated with linenfold panelling and Renaissance foliage.  On a pew end in the north aisle is inscribed "Thes seyts were Mayd in the yeare of our Lord God MCCCCCXLVII (1547) the tyme of Thomas Lylynton, vicar of this Cherche."  Lylynton was a monk from Cerne Abbey and was appointed in 1534, just before the Dissolution of 1539.  The chancel arch is pierced by a hagioscope and on the south side there is a doorway and stair, which once led to a rood screen.  The monument on the north chancel wall is to Edward Lawrence.  The Lawrence coat-of-arms is supposed to have been the inspiration for the US flag (George Washington's mother was a Lawrence). The screen, between the chapel and nave, is of C15 origin, but has relatively modern decoration.  

Affpuddle Church - Reredos

Similarly, the decoration of the reredos with the figures of St Laurence and St Cecilia, east chancel and organ case is by Loughnan Pendred of Cambridge (1952).  The current organ by Bevington, originally built in C19 and installed in Collingbourne Kingston in Wiltshire, was re-sited here in 1998.    
                        
Affpuddle church - WWII Memorial shrine
                                                                   
In the churchyard garden of peace, there is a roofed shrine as a World War II memorial that contains an impressive crucifix, also by Pendred.  The Pendred works, together with a beautiful C15 altar frontal and much else, were the gifts of Sir Ernest Debenham, who owned most of the land in the area.