County boundary changes are nothing new it would seem. Sandford Orcas, redolent of all that is idyllic in Dorset was in Somerset until 1896.

Three streams rise in the parish and in Saxon times, the water was forded over a sandy bottom, from where the name Sandford derives. After the Battle of Hastings, the manor became the property of the Orescuilz family, not an easy name for the local tongue, so it became corrupted to Orcas.

Sandford Orcas Manor was built by Edward Knoyle from the local Ham Hill stone in the mid 16th Century, and owned by the Medlycott family for the last 250 years. A garderobe, or privy, projects from the far wall of the gatehouse. Next door in the church there is a monument to William Knoyle (died 1607) with his two wives and eleven children, four of whom are shown dead in swaddling clothes.

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