Piddletrenthide in Dorset

A village in West Dorset situated in the Piddle valley


Situated in the Piddle valley on the dip slope of the Dorset Downs, eight miles north of Dorchester.

Google 'Piddletrenthide' and you will find a description of 'a village in West Dorset situated in the Piddle valley on the dip slope of the Dorset Downs, eight miles north of Dorchester. The village has a population of 691. Many people consider the place name to be inherently funny....'

Of course what this description does not say, is what it's actually like to live in our village! We are fortunate, currently, to boast three excellent pubs, a modern First School, a hairdressers, a mower repair business and a Post Office/village stores.

The Memorial Hall erected in the 1920's in lasting memory to those who perished in WWI, nowadays hosts a number of clubs and village activities ranging from the monthly Lunch Club to the Piddle Valley Gardens Club, the Over Sixties and in the winter months: a weekly country dancing group. Jumble Sales, Coffee Mornings and private parties are also held in this village meeting place.

For those interested in sport, there is a tennis court and nearby playing field and for younger members of the community, a playground area. The surrounding area of gentle hills, woods and the meandering River Piddle, offers a wonderful array of walks.

Since the former Baptist Church was converted to a private dwelling over fifty years ago and the Methodist Church was demolished in more recent times, leaving only its Schoolroom standing, the village now has only one church: All Saints, which is situated to the northern edge of the village and has a tower dating from the 15thC adorned with some truly gruesome gargoyles!

Historically, the village was once owned by Winchester College until the Big Sell-off in the 1950's when most properties converted to private ownership. The numerous small farms of the early 20th Century have now been amalgamated to larger, more economically viable estates.

Probably Piddletrenthide's most famous resident was Ralph Wightman, the broadcaster and voice of rural England in the 1940's and 50's, born in the village and whose family's farm and butchers shop provided the narrative for his many books. ....and as for that name: it dates from the time of the Domesday Book (1086) and mean 'estate of thirty hides on the River Piddle' [trente being the French word for thirty] However the famous Dorset writer, Thomas Hardy, preferred to call it 'Upper Longpuddle'.

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