River Piddle

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River Piddle
River Trent
The River Piddle at Piddlehinton
Country England
County Dorset
Districts West Dorset, Purbeck
 - left Bere Stream, Devil's Brook
Towns and villages Wareham, Tolpuddle, Puddletown, Piddletrenthide
Landmark Athelhampton House
Source Alton Pancras
 - location Poole Harbour, Purbeck, Dorset, England

The River Piddle or Trent or North River is a small rural Dorset river which rises next to Alton Pancras church. Alton Pancras was originally named Awultune, a Saxon name meaning the village at the source of a river. The river's name has Germanic origins and has had various spellings over the years.[1] In AD 966 it was called the 'Pidelen', and on the church tower at Piddletrenthide—the first village to which it gives its name—it is spelled 'Pydel'.[1] Several villages which the river passes through are named after it: as well as Piddletrenthide there are Piddlehinton, Puddletown, Tolpuddle, Affpuddle, Briantspuddle and Turnerspuddle. The Victorians changed the spelling to 'Puddle', due to 'piddle' being an alternative word for 'piss',[1] although Puddletown was still called Piddletown into the 1950s.

The Piddle flows south and then south-easterly more or less parallel with its bigger neighbour, the River Frome, to Wareham, where they both enter Poole Harbour via Wareham Channel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Roland Gant (1980). Dorset Villages. Robert Hale Ltd. p. 188. ISBN 0 7091 8135 3. 

Coordinates: 50°41′N 2°04′W / 50.683°N 2.067°W / 50.683; -2.067