They ask you to drive slowly through Farnham, but I cannot imagine anyone wishing to rush through this lovely village of white cottages dominated by thatch, lest he miss but one lovely garden ablaze with the old fashioned flowers of the countryside.

It is not the typical Dorset village beauty which has made the name Farnham famous all over the world, but a museum founded by a great Victorian, Gen. Pitt-Rivers, a wealthy landowner in the district. It was he who restored King John's Hunting Lodge at Tollard Royal.

The centre piece of his vast collection, which covered mans growth from savage days to the 19th century, were items excavated from nearby Woodcutts. A perfect example of a Romano-British village, with models of the site at the time of occupation.

Amongst the objects found were flint implements of the late Stone Age, and Roman coins. There were also skeletons of men and children who had died violent deaths.

The vast general collection included regalia of savage tribes and an agricultural section followed the development of farming implements.

This important and unique museum was housed in a building originally built as a residential school for gypsy children in the 1840s by the Rev. John West, but it is now closed and the great collection sadly dispersed. However, the Woodcutts collection can be seen in Salisbury Museum.

The church of St. Lawrence hides on a hillside behind the village cottages. It is built of local green sandstone and knapped flint, with an attractive 14th century tower. An economical north aisle was added in 1835 with simple iron pillars, like pipes supporting the arcade. The chancel is far more elaborate and dates from 1886. The church has two fonts, one medieval, and the other unusual late 17th century, classical with a minute bowl. Near the entrance is the ancient village well, protected by a thatched lych gate style shelter.

Back
Monitor page
for changes
    
   it's private   

by ChangeDetection

2000 The Dorset Page