Church of St Osmund, Evershot
Evershot shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||West Dorset|
Evershot is a village and civil parish in west Dorset, England, 8 miles (13 km) south of Yeovil. It is the second highest village in the county (the highest being Ashmore in Cranborne Chase), the centre of the village lying at 175 metres (575 feet) above sea-level. The village has a population of 206 (2001). The parish also encompasses part of the nearby hamlet of Holywell. The village has featured in various novels by Thomas Hardy.
It is hard to trace the history of the village before the Norman conquest, but it is believed Evershot began as a Boar pen around 1,100 years ago. Due to its close proximity to the River Frome a settlement was built nearby.
The oldest remains to be found in Evershot are three standing stones named the Three Dumb Sisters, now a bench. Local legend says that these are three sisters turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath. It is believed that they originate from a plot of land close to the village, but it is not known when they were built or moved. They are possibly Bronze Age in origin.
In 1628, Christopher Stickland founded Stickland's School "...for reading, writing and grammar... for the instruction and breeding of men children ... a schoolmaster there for ever to train up, instruct and teach the same child in good learning, true religion and the fear of God."
A fire in the village in 1865 destroyed eighteen buildings before being extinguished. In relative terms it was catastrophic, rendering more than a hundred people homeless. It is likely that, had there not been the river nearby, the entire village would have been destroyed. Not a single person was killed during the 'Great Fire of Evershot,' and a considerable amount was raised to help the homeless (£70 in two days, the equivalent of over £3000 today).
The River Frome has its source in the village just behind St Osmund's Church in Back Lane. The villagers restored the head of the well in 2000 and their names are on a plaque.
Another building of special interest is Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa. It was built in 1798 as a dower house by Henry Fox-Strangways, 2nd Earl of Ilchester. It was enlarged in 1893 with a second floor designed by local author, Thomas Hardy, and in 1979 it was made a hotel.
The village has a village hall, which was used by the military during the Second World War. It was then given to the village. At present it is mostly known for "Band-on" gigs and Artsreach events.
To the west is a prominent rounded summit known as West Hill which is 224 metres (735 ft) high.
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