Parish church of St Laurence
|Population||436 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||121 miles (195 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Dorset and Wiltshire|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Affpuddle is a small village in the Purbeck district of Dorset in South West England, 9 miles (14 km) east of Dorchester. The local travel links are 3 miles (4.8 km) from the village to Moreton railway station and 20 miles (32 km) to Bournemouth International Airport. Part of the village street is the B3390, which divides the village into two. Affpuddle used to have its own civil parish, which included the settlements of Briantspuddle to the east and Pallington to the south. In the 2001 census this parish had a population of 402. Affpuddle civil parish has since joined with neighbouring Turners Puddle to form the new parish of Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle. In the 2011 census this joint parish had 200 households and a population of 436.
Affpuddle village is in the Piddle valley, just north of the Purbeck conifer plantations and heathland, in a valley beside the villages of Tolpuddle and Puddletown. The village is linear and made of brick, stone and thatched cottages and has a 13th-century church dedicated to St Laurence.
The village was established during or before the Saxon era, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Affapidela, having a manor house belonging to the Abbot of Cerne. After the Dissolution the village became an estate of the Lawrence family, an ancestor of whom married the heiress of a branch of the Washington family, from another branch of which descended George Washington. The Washington arms was quartered by the Lawrences and thus appears on the north wall of the chancel in the village church on a Lawrence monument. The church of St Laurence is noted for its elaborate pews, dated 1545 or 1547, and the finely carved pulpit, undated but in a very similar style. The church dates from the 13th century but was enlarged by an aisle and a tower in the 15th century. Other features of interest are the Norman font and south doorway.
The earliest records in Dorset of the agricultural practice of flooding fields to form watermeadows refer to Affpuddle in the early 17th century; Edward Lawrence, the lord of the manor at the time, was interested in agricultural improvement and favoured the use of flooding here and in neighbouring Briantspiddle and Pallington, where he also had manors.
- "Area: Affpuddle CP (Parish). Parish Headcounts, 2001". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Area: Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle (Parish). Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Betjeman, John, ed. (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches; the South. London: Collins; p. 171
- J H Bettey. "The Development of Water Meadows in Dorset during the Seventeenth Century" (PDF). bahs.org.uk (British Agricultural History Society) (scan). pp. 37–8. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- History of Dorset, John Hutchins, 3rd ed (1861–73)
- Affpuddle in the County of Dorset, Joan Brocklebank (1967)
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