Cattistock is a happy mixture of brick and stone cottages, especially in the centre, the triangle in front of the church where thatch and nice window moldings identify the old ones from the more recent. The earthworks on Castle Hill overlooking the village defy dating, but King Alfred’s grandson, Athelstan, gave land hereabouts to the monks in return for their prayers.

The pride of Cattistock was its renowned carillon of 35 bells cast in Louvain, the first in England. Their mellow tones rang out over this large village, with a church more befitting a city. Alas they were destroyed in a fire in the tower in 1939. The church however remains one of the finest 19th century churches in Dorset.

The north and south transepts are 15th century, but the body of the church was virtually rebuilt in 1857 by Sir Gilbert Scott. The north aisle and tower were added in 1874 and designed by his son George Gilbert Scott. Externally the tower is stunning, huge and visible for miles around. After the fire, the upper part of the tower was rebuilt in the 1950's by Arts and Crafts architect J.S. Brockerly who is buried in the churchyard. A feature of the fine church tower used to be an enormous clock face which spanned the whole width of the tower, but it has been replaced with a face of more normal proportions.

 Cattistock is also home to the Cattistock Hunt, and the baying of the hounds can still be heard around the village. But with the increasing ant-blood sports sentiment, one wonders for how much longer.

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