Swanage - A Story in Stone

Swanage - A Story in Stone, Swanage, England (B)

As I meandered through crowds of holidaymakers dodging swinging buckets and whirling spades I found it hard to believe that Swanage had once been a simple fishing village on the Dorset coast. In those days the centre of the community had been the Mill Pond and it was here I began my walk around the town. I stayed by the mill pond for a while. There was no-one else there and it was so quiet I could hear the natural spring bubbling nearby. The pond is fed by water from an underground source in the Purbeck Hills that I could see on the horizon. The path alongside the water is lined by cottages built from Purbeck Stone from local quarries. The mill and the brewery once the main industries here are now residential properties close to the water.

On the far side of the mill pond is the Church of Saint Mary, the ancient Parish Church of Swanage. This church has been re-built four times and the tower is the only original part remaining. This tower was originally built as a defence and it has tiny arrow slit windows. Initially there was no entrance at ground level. Before the stone steps were built access would have been up a ladder that was then pulled up into the tower. The top floor, that now houses a peal of eight bells was added to the tower in 1620. The church was badly damaged during World War II and extensive repairs were subsequently effected including the East window depicting Christ in Glory. Across the road from the church is a small stone building called the Rectory Classroom. It was formerly the coach house for the Old Rectory until the incumbent rector donated it to the parish in the 1870s. It is now used as a meeting place. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Swanage - A Story in Stone
Guide Location: England » Swanage
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Valery Collins
Read it on Author's Website: https://experiencedtraveller.com/journal/2017-03-05-swanage-a-story-in-stone
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Church of Saint Mary
  • Corfe Castle
  • King Alfred Monument
  • Swanage Pier
  • Downs
  • Town Hall
  • Earthlights Café