The village of Broadmayne straggles along a mile or two of the Dorchester to Wareham road till you reach Warmwell Cross. Although it has retained some good cottages Broadmayne can hardly be called one of the picturesque villages of Dorset.

In the village the notorious highwayman Bill Watch stabled his horse when he was raiding the coaches on the Weymouth to London run. The barn he used is now converted into a dwelling.

For a village which produced quality bricks from locally dug clay for over one hundred years it Is out of keeping to find the old Manor House, thought to be 13th century, covered in ‘bricks’ only half an inch thick. On closer inspection it can be seen that they are actually tiles stuck on in the late 19th century as protection. However one of the cottages just behind the main road, west of the crossroads is dated 1732 and built from the local brick. A very rare occurrence so early in Dorset.

Behind the Manor house is a granary supported on stone staddles, the peculiar mushroom-shaped foundations which prevent the entry of rats.

The church of St. Michael's unusual in having a very plain south tower. The lower part of the tower is 13th century whilst the to dates from around 1500. Inside the church is heavily restored, the whole north part was rebuilt in 1865-66 by John Hicks of Dorchester for whom Thomas Hardy worked. The rather anemic 1856 angels around the church were described at the time as having 'very striking' expressions on their faces.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the village was once called Maine Martel, the Martel family being Lords of the Manor in the 12th and 13th centuries.


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