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13 May - Is Abbotsbury Garland Day a celebration of the old May Day from the Julian calendar. Flowers are woven into frames and carried about the town by children.
There are still parts of this manor dating back 500 years, it was occupied early in its history by the Martyn family from 1350 to around 1600. The Martyn family were devoutly catholic and may have hidden priests within the house during the time England was under protestant rule. Priest holes, which are small secret recesses within walls, have been found which attest to this. Read More »
This concentric ring hillfort dates from the Iron Age, and according to archaeologists was built to stem an invasion from the Northeast of the country. Read More »
In Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain, By John H. Ingram, he mentions a paper by Miss Billington contributed to Merry England in 1883 concerning Bagley House near Bridport. The same article I am led to believe also appeared in the Dorset County Chronicle, August 1883. Her tale concerns Squire Lighte and his death. Read More »
A screaming skull resides at Bettiscombe Manor, which in legend cannot be removed from the house. To do so is said to cause great havoc. Read More »
Bronze Age barrows on the down are known as the music barrows, and are traditionally thought to be home of the fairy folk. According to folklore it was possible to hear the fairy revelry if you placed your ear to the barrows at midday.
A public footpath runs near the down reached from the South West Coast Path. Read More »
A horseman garbed in Bronze Age attire has been seen on Bottlebush Down. He disappears into a long barrow from the site of a cursus on the B3081. Many witnesses including respected Archaeologists have seen the spirit. Bottlebush Down seems to have been important to early man and is littered with his remains.
The tank museum is home to a German Tiger Tank that saw service during World War II. A figure in WWII era German military uniform was once seen looking at the tank through the museum windows. It has been speculated that the figure is the ghost of a one time occupant of the tank. This is maybe the last remaining operational Tiger Tank. Read More »
The Cerne Abbas Giant or the 'Rude Man' is one of the largest hillfigures in Britain, he (the figure's gender is beyond doubt) is one of two representations of the human form, the other being the Long Man of Wilmington in East Sussex. The giant, carved in solid lines from the chalk bedrock measures in at 180 feet high, and carries a huge knobbled club, which measures 120 feet in length. Read More »
Although there has been a church situated on this site since around 800AD, the current building was started in 1094 by Ranulf Flambard.
Strange noises have been heard within the church that do not seem to have a physical source. There are also reports of phantom monks.
The imposing ruin of Corfe Castle, which dates back to the Norman period, is said to be haunted by a headless woman. She has been seen standing by the castle walls and near the ruined gatehouse. Read More »
The hotel is haunted by the sound of children playing and various other ghostly phenomena. In legend deformed twins were kept locked in an upstairs room.
The pub is on Market Street within Poole.
In 'Mysterious Places of Dorset' by Robert Westwood a story is recounted of some ghosts being seen at Durdle Door. The original account appeared in 'Mysterious Dorset' by Rodney Legg, who was sent this story in the nineteen thirties. A sailor who was anchored at Durdle Door claimed to have heard a scream coming from the shore. Read More »
The remains of this once grand house has a reputation of being haunted and associated with a vampire legend. The property is private and you cannot gain access but the story of Eastbury House and its past owners is certainly interesting. Read More »
An Iron Age hillfort above Lulworth Cove seems to have been taken over by the Romans when they invaded. The area is said to be haunted by phantom Roman soldiers seen several times over the years. Traditionally they are said to appear at times of national crisis. They have also been seen at Bindon Hill and Knowle hill.
Directions: Read More »
Originally the hill served as the site of a Middle Neolithic Causeway Camp, such as the one at Windmill Hill in Avebury. The camp was enclosed by causeway ditches to the Eastern end of the hillside, perhaps protected by wooden palisades, evidence suggests the camp was attacked by archers in an inter tribal skirmish. Read More »
Welcome to Weymouth, location for the London 2012 Olympic sailing competitions and home to it's fair share of ghosts and paranormal activity - which I think should add to the attraction! Alex Woodward has written the latest book in the Haunted series published by The History Press, Haunted Weymouth, which takes us on another spine-chilling journey around the town and local area. Read More »
The following 18th century experience which concerns Beaminster School and the Grade I listed 15th century St Mary's Church, appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine (1774) and reprinted in John Ingram's 'The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain' (1897). It is an interesting case and if the Gentlemans Magazine is to be believed a very singular story that comes well authenticated. Read More »
The area around Knowlton formed a major ritual site in the Neolithic period, the main focus being three Neolithic henge earthworks. Two have long since been ploughed and weathered away, but one remains with the ruin of a twelfth century Norman church at its centre, probably some form of controlling pagan sites by the early church. Read More »
Situated on hill leading down into the town of Lyme Regis, the Leper’s Well stands on the site of the Chapel of St. Mary and the Holy Spirit. There is a worn inscription above the well telling that a hospital stood on the spot 700 years ago, presumably connected with the alleged curative properties of the well. Read More »
This is the largest Iron Age Hillfort in Britain, consisting of a spectacular series of bank and ditch defences enclosing an area of 45 acres. These fortifications cover the much earlier site of a Middle Neolithic Causeway Camp from around 3000BC. The camp was enclosed by two lines of ditches, the remains of which are indistinguishable. Read More »
On 26 October 1967 at about 11.25 am, J.B.W. Brooks was walking his two dogs, an Alsatian and a Dalmatian, along the Moigne Down near Holworth during a force eight gale. He took shelter by lying down on his back in a hollow in the ground. Read More »
This small stone circle is set enchantingly by the busy A35, although it is still worth a visit on the round trip from Maiden Castle, which is to the West along the same road.
Off the A35 to the West of Winterbourne Abbas.
Ghosts, moving objects, displacements in time, near death experiences, synchronicities, out-of-body experiences – these things are happening all the time. A new book just published by Roving Press entitled Paranormal Purbeck: A Study of the Unexplained features nearly 70 locations in Purbeck, Dorset, with first-hand, matter-of-fact accounts from more than 100 people. Read More »
Nevermind the Serengeti, Dorset is, arguably, where you are most likely to bump into a big cat, according to Merrily Harpur, author of two books on the subject – Mystery Big Cats and Roaring Dorset! Encounters with Big Cats. Read More »
Offering a deeper look at the landscape and our hidden past, this book describes over 40 inspiring and less-frequented places in West Dorset. Read More »
Shaftesbury abbey was a Benedictine nunnery that was founded by Alfred the Great around AD888, King Alfred's daughter was also the first Abbess of Shaftesbury. Read More »
Intrigued by The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons? Gary Biltcliffe has been studying the Isle of Portland in Dorset for many years and reveals some ground-breaking discoveries in this book, including a secret Masonic code found in Portland’s churches left as clues by 19th-century Freemasons. Read More »