Henry Hastings, Squire of WoodlandsWOODLANDS as it's name implies is well wooded, with brick cottages dating from the 18th century onwards. Lots of market gardening. The little village was given the church of the Ascension in 1892 by the Countess of Shaftesbury. Outside it looks like a chapel, brick and stone, but inside it not only has elaborate High Church fittings, but also is odd because it was designed by Bodley to have two naves. Right up the middle of the building runs an arcade of pillars such as one would expect to support an aisle. The result is unfortunate - the arcade blocks the view of the rood and the altar, and gives the whole interior a peculiar feel of being cut into halves.

Henry Hastings, squire of Woodlands until his death aged 99 in 1650, is remembered because the first Earl of Shaftesbury left a famous description of him and his (now demolished) house: ‘the great hall strewed with marrow bones, full of hawks perches, hounds, spaniels, and terriers . . . hung with the fox skins of this and last years skinning'

At the T-junction to the north-west of the village (Remedy Gate) is an ancient oak with a plaque recording that in the 16th century ‘According to tradition King Edward VI sat beneath this tree and touched for the King’s Evil.’


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