Parish church of St Mary, Puddletown
Puddletown shown within Dorset
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Puddletown (formerly Piddletown) is a village and civil parish in Dorset, England, situated in the West Dorset administrative district about 5 miles (8 km) east of Dorchester. It is in the valley of the River Piddle, from which it derives its name. In 2012 the estimated population of the civil parish was 1,410. Figures from the 2011 census have been published for Puddletown parish combined with the small parish of Athelhampton to the east; the population in this area was 1,405.
Puddletown is called "Weatherbury" in Thomas Hardy's novel Far From the Madding Crowd. Tryphena Sparks, Thomas Hardy's cousin, who was the inspiration for Hardy's poem Thoughts of Phena at News of Her Death, lived in Puddletown.
The church of St Mary is mainly late medieval with an earlier core. Features of interest include the beaker-shaped font, the panelled roof to the nave, and the 17th century box pews, pulpit and gallery. There are also a number of 15th and 16th century monumental brasses and some stained glass by Ninian Comper. The South or Martyn family chapel has three 16th century tombs with alabaster effigies.
The Old Manor
The Old Manor, also known as Ilsington House, on the east side of Puddletown is a Grade II* Listed country house. It is one of very few William and Mary style houses in Dorset.
Between 1780 and 1830, the house was leased to General Thomas Garth, principal equerry to King George III. The General adopted - and according to some stories, fathered - King George III's illegitimate grandson by Princess Sophiea, and raised him at the manor.
In 1861 the house was bought by John Brymer and remained in the possession of the Brymer family for just over 100 years.
In 2000, The Old Manor was presented with a "Dorset Architectural Heritage Award".
In 2012, it was on sale for just under £5 million.
- Ralph Wightman (1901–1971), author and broadcaster, lived at Puddletown.
- "Parish Population Data". Dorset County Council. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 187. ISBN 0-7091-8135-3.
- "Area: Puddletown (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- Millgate, Michael Thomas Hardy: a biography revisited (2004) Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-927566-1
- Betjeman, John, ed. (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches; the South. London: Collins; p. 176
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