Shops on High Street
Lytchett Matravers shown within Dorset
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Lytchett Matravers|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||Mid Dorset and North Poole|
The village is situated on rising ground in a landscape of small valleys, open fields and woods 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Wareham and 7 miles (11 km) north west of Poole. The elevation gives views from many parts of the village to Poole Harbour and the Purbeck hills. The village lies within the Green Belt of the Poole/Bournemouth conurbation. To the northeast lie the plantations of Henbury and Stoney Down and to the south the woods of Lychett Heath.
Lytchett Matravers was once on the original main Poole to Dorchester road, but for the past one hundred and fifty years there has been no main road through the village. Nevertheless, there is some through commuter traffic between the main A350 and A35.
Lytchett Matravers is mentioned in the Domesday Book; the manor having been awarded to Hugh Maltravers after the Norman conquest in 1066. The name is a conjunction of the Celtic word, Litchet (meaning grey wood), and the Maltravers name, later written as Matravers.
The Maltravers family held the village for around 300 years, until the Black Death ravaged the population in the second half of the 14th Century. The surviving villagers are reputed to have fled the original village, sited around the church and manor house, and resettled at the top of the hill.
The remaining female heir to the title ‘in abeyance’, Eleanor Maltravers, inherited the title on the death of her sister, Joan, in or after 1376. She married John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel on 17 February 1359.
The estate was later purchased from the Arundels by the Trenchard family, who demolished the former manor house and built a new one which incorporated, amongst other facilities, a ballroom and a tower. When the Trenchard family foundered in 1829, the manor passed to the Dillon family who added the name Trenchard to their own. However, the newly titled Dillon-Trenchards chose not to occupy the newer manor house. In the later part of the 20th Century, the Dillon-Trenchards emigrated to New Zealand leaving the village without any direct historical hereditary family link.
In 2005, the Lordship of Lytchett Matravers finally passed to Hon. Geoffrey Beck (b. 1966), being one of the only remaining descendants of the de Carterets of Arundel, and a direct descendant of Renaud de Courtenay, Baron Okehampton (c. 1125 – c. 1190).
Lytchett Matravers has developed over the 20th century from being a hamlet of mostly scattered cottages with large curtilages to a village with a moderately high housing density. During the 1920s and 1930s, a certain amount of ribbon development took place on the main access road and this continued into the 1950s with the addition of small scale infill housing behind. Since the 1970s development has mainly been through relatively large housing estates. During the 1960s and early 1970s many of the original cob and thatch cottages were either demolished or changed beyond recognition, nevertheless there are still some thirteen original thatched cottages in the village, some of which retain their original curtilage. Recently, some modern developments have included a smattering of thatched houses in an attempt to acknowledge the local vernacular style.
The Church of England church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, lies just to the west and outside the village; its location is a reminder that the village envelope was relocated from that area onto higher ground in the 14th century following the Black Death. Parts of the church date to the 13th century, but the North Aisle is later, and dates from the 14th century. The church was much restored in the early 16th century. The 12th century tower has six bells. A Methodist church is also located near the centre of the village.
The village has a total of five shops, one of which is a traditional village shop and butcher called L.A Hannams and Sons, which is located opposite Lytchett Matravers Primary School. The village also contains a Tesco Express store, a pharmacy, a hairdressing salon and an estate agent. In addition, there is a garage which sells vehicles, but not petrol, and a separate business on the same site which carries out vehicle repairs. The Chequers Inn, one of the two village pubs, has foundations which may date from the relocation of the village in the fourteenth century.
Most of the village amenities are situated on the High Street, including a modern parade of four shops, a modern library run by the County Library Service as well as a pharmacy and doctors' surgery. The two village pubs are at either end of the High Street and the village hall is at the centre, not far from the shops. The village war memorial is also on the High Street while the village Youth Centre is just off the western end.
The village hall is a substantial building, constructed in 1972 to replace the ailing Jubilee Hall, which was largely of timber and corrugated iron construction. The new hall provides a large room with a stage, along with a smaller meeting room, kitchen and toilets. A small parish council office is attached to the side of the village hall which is furthest away from the High Street. The village hall is on relatively high ground and is immediately above the Recreation Ground which is just large enough for two small football pitches in the winter months and a cricket pitch in the summer. A children's play area is on the southern edge of the Recreation Ground as is the an all-weather basketball court and skateboarding area. Adjacent to the village hall, single storey brick buildings situated in a car park alongside the High Street provide changing facilities for the Recreation Ground and a Scout hut for the 1st Lytchett Matravers scouts.
With the exception of the Rose and Crown pub which is about one hundred years old, the Chequers Inn which is much older still and the Heath Cottage which houses the doctors' surgeries and medical centre, most of the buildings in the High Street are modern. There are still open fields near the centre of the village and many within its built up boundaries.
A small number of businesses run in or from the village. Most of those of working age however, commute elsewhere in Dorset for their work, chiefly to Poole and Bournemouth. The village is home to a substantial number of retired and semi-retired people. Nevertheless, the village primary school was enlarged and relocated in 1990 and attracts children from outside its catchment area. Secondary education is provided by Lytchett Minster Upper School which is situated 2 miles (3.2 km) from the village.
Sport and recreation
There are active sports clubs and many other social and recreational clubs in the village. The football club Lytchett Red Triangle is particularly active, there is a cricket club and a British Legion Club. For young people there are Beavers, Cubs and Brownies, as well as Scouts and Guides, an Army Cadet Force Unit and a Youth Parish Council.
The monthly Parish Magazine, which is taken by about 700 households, usually includes articles on the activities of twelve clubs and societies in the village and there are at least as many more which are not covered. In October 2001, a typical month, there was a booking listed for the village hall every day of the month and several clubs and societies meet either in their own premises or at a venue elsewhere in the village. For many years, the village has held a traditional carnival during June. The village is twinned with the French village of Les Pieux, situated 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Cherbourg, linked by a regular car ferry with Poole.
A group of villagers have undertaken a Village Appraisal under the name of "Lytchett Matravers Parish Plan" This report explains the consultation process undertaken, details the concerns of villagers as they emerged during the process (in approximate order of priority) and sets out in an Action Plan those actions necessary to address the concerns of the villagers of Lytchett Matravers.
There are planning applications being sought on the land nearest the A35 (December 2007). This will lead to new housing for a considerable number of people.
The Draft Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West includes specific provision for 2,750 new homes to be built on green land between Lytchett Minster and Lytchett Matravers. Opposition to this new proposal has been voiced by villagers of Lytchett Matravers, Lytchett Minster and Upton, by the local planning authority and the local Member of Parliament that serves these communities.
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In lychett lots of modern houses have been built. there is also a new riding school.