Early 19th century Lodge, Hinton Martell.At the time of the Conquest, Hinton Martel was known as Hinetone, the village of the monks. A Frenchman called Eudo Martel held it at the time of Magna Carta. His surname meant the Hammer, probably because this was his favourite weapon in battle.

In the heart of this peaceful place, they built a large circular fountain, low enough for passing sheep to drink from. It did not please the passing historian Treves, who described is as just such a fountain to be found in a suburban tea garden, or in front of a gaudy Italian villa. In one of his passages of dry humor, he continued The fountain of painted metal, tawdry and flimsy, represents a boy standing in one dish while he holds another on his head. No unhappy detail is spared: the ambitious pedestal, the three impossible dolphins, the paltry squirt of water, are all here. How this cafe chantant ornament has found its way into a modest and secluded hamlet there is no evidence to show.

I do not know what he would say if he came back to revise his Highway's and Byways of Dorset. In the 1960s, the old watering place had so badly crumbled that a redesigned fountain, incorporating some of the old on a new plinth, was carried out by the South Dorset Technical College. Such was the brilliance of the new stone pool and the fact that its interior was painted a lovely sea blue like the clinical interior of a swimming pool, that it would make any village sheep or farmyard duck hurry away, ashamed of their own shabbiness.

To add to Treves' disgust would be the fact that the new fountain was unveiled in 1965 by Miss Ann Sidney, the curvaceous young lady from Dorset who was living proof of William Barnes'i famous words in his poem In Praise of Dorset.

'An weive zome women not uncomely; Nor asheamed to show their feace.'

Ann showed not only her face but her 'not uncomely' body to be acclaimed as 'Miss World', and she has a plaque on the fountain which reads: 'Be like Miss World 1965, Ann Sidney. Throw your coins into the fountain and make a secret wish.'

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