Affpuddle is named after the Saxon Affa. It is a sleepy village on the river Piddle bordered by heath land, part of Thomas Hardy's great heath. It was first mentioned in the Domesday book, where it was noted, "The Abbot has 1 manor which is called Affapidela.."

The Church, standing on the river bank, has an early English chancel and a Norman font, but the outstanding features are the pews and the pulpit. They were carved in 1548 by the then vicar, Thomas Lyllington, a monk from Cerne Abbas who had originally come to Affpuddle when Henry VIII dissolved the monastries. He despised his old comrades so much that he carved them into the pulpit as half monk and half fool.

The coat of arms on the north wall of the chancel is identical with that on the signet ring of George Washington [1732-991], the first President of the United States. The stars and stripes (bars and mullets, technically) of the Washington family joined the crusader cross of the Lawrence's with the marriage of Edmund Lawrence and Agnes de Wessington, in 1390.

They appear on the scrolled wall-monument to Edward Lawrence, who died in 1751. More examples decorate Steeple church in the Isle of Purbeck.

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