Chaldon Herring

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Chaldon Herring
East Chaldon Village - - 1715736.jpg
Chaldon Herring
Chaldon Herring is located in Dorset
Chaldon Herring
Chaldon Herring
Location within Dorset
OS grid referenceSY792833
Civil parish
  • Chaldon Herring
Unitary authority
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDorchester
Postcode districtDT2
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
50°38′59″N 2°17′49″W / 50.6497°N 2.2969°W / 50.6497; -2.2969Coordinates: 50°38′59″N 2°17′49″W / 50.6497°N 2.2969°W / 50.6497; -2.2969

Chaldon Herring or East Chaldon is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset, about 8 miles (13 km) south-east of the county town of Dorchester. It is sited 2 miles (3.2 km) from the coast in the chalk hills of the South Dorset Downs, the highest point in the area being Chaldon Hill about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the south, overlooking the sea. In the 2011 census the civil parish had 59 households and a population of 140.[1]

In 1086 in the Domesday Book, Chaldon Herring was recorded as Calvedone and, together with West Chaldon, appears in three entries.[2][3]

The Herring family were landowners for a long period (as early as 1166 until at least 1372),[4] so the village and parish appended their family name to the placename. Elizabeth Herring, daughter of John Herring of Chaldon Herring, was the great grandmother of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford; the Herringham arms are displayed in the second grand quarter of Bedford's coat of arms.

Chaldon Herring is notable for being the home of Llewelyn Powys and his wife, Alyse Gregory. In 1925 the couple moved to Dorset: firstly to the Coastguard Cottages on White Nothe and then to the nearby farmhouse Chydyok, where his two sisters, the poet and novelist, Philippa Powys, and the artist, Gertrude Powys, occupied the adjacent cottage. Various other writers and artists lived in the village at different times, such as sisters Elizabeth Muntz, a sculptor, author and historian Hope Muntz who wrote The Golden Warrior, novelists Sylvia Townsend Warner and David Garnett, the poets Valentine Ackland and Gamel Woolsey, and the sculptor Stephen Tomlin.

The novelist T. F. Powys, older brother of Llewelyn, lived in Chaldon from 1904 until 1940, when he moved to Mappowder because of the war.[5] Chaldon Herring was the inspiration for the fictitious village of Folly Down in his novel Mr. Weston's Good Wine and other works.[6] It was at Theodore Powys's house that novelist Sylvia Townsend Warner first met the poet Valentine Ackland. Warner's diaries record that they lived together in Frome Vauchurch from 1930 until Valentine's death in 1969; she died there on 1 May 1978.

The Five Marys, a group of prehistoric round barrows, are on a ridge north of the village.


  1. ^ "Area: Chaldon Herring (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Dorset A-G". The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Place: Chaldon [Herring] and [West] Chaldon". Open Domesday. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  4. ^ The Herring Family of Chaldon Herring, Winterborne Herringston, Langton Herring and Winterborne Clenston, Dorset, accessed June 2018.
  5. ^ Richard Perceval Graves,The Brothers Powys (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), pp. 57, 305.
  6. ^ Blamires, H.. A Guide to twentieth century literature in English. (London: Taylor & Francis, 1983), p.225.

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