Ye Old Darzit


                  Grose's Antiquities of England and Wales (1787) description of Dorsetshire (part)


Is a maritime county; which, before the arrival of the Romans, comprized the whole of the third principality of the Britons, and was called the Durotrigae; and by the Romans was included in their province of Britannia Prima; and during the Saxon Heptarchy it made part of the West-Saxon dominions, whose commencement was in 519, and termination under 18 sovereigns was in 828; when its success by conquest reduced all the other six sovereignties; and the English government commenced under Egbert.

It is included in the Western circuit, in the province of Canterbury and the diocese of Exeter; bounded on the North by Somersetshire and Wiltshire; south by the British Channel; east by Hampshire and west by Devonshire. In this county was the first Saxon settlement in Britain. It is 52 miles long, 34 broad and 160 in circumference; containing 959 square miles, or 772,000 acres, having 22 market towns, viz. Dorchester, Lyme, Shaftsbury, Pool, Bridport, Sherborn, Wareham, Corfe-Castle, Blandford, Weymouth, Melcombe Regis, Cranborn, Beminster, Abbotsbury, Bere, Evershot, Frampton, Milton-Abbey, Stalbrodge, Sturminster, Winborn, and Cerne; here there are 1006 villages, 236 parishes, 68 vicarages. It is divided into 34 hundreds; sends 20 members to Parliament; pays nine parts of the land-tax, and provides 640 men to the national militia. The rivers are the Frome, Avon, Stour, Piddle, Allen, Lyddon, Ivel, Wey, Bert, Car and Ex. It produces sheep, aromatic plants, freestone, timber, marle, hemp, cattle, fowls, game, fish in great plenty, corn, marble, bone lace, linseys and woollen goods, tobacco-pipe clay, etc. The most noted places are the vale of White-horse, Marshwood vale, the White Hart, Gillingham and Holt forests, Cranborn Chace, Blackmore, Luckford Lake, Fordington Moor, Chesil Bank, and Portland Race.


There are Roman, Saxon or Danish encampments on Hoddle and Hamildon Hills, Maiden Castle near Dorchester, at Badbury near Winborn Minster, upon Egerton Hill near Maiden Newton, near Abbotsbury called Abbotsbury Castle, at Dudsbury near Winborn, near Stockland, upon Pillsdon Hill near Beminster, upon Castle Hill near Cerne Abbey, near Maypowder, Badbury Rings near Winborn Minster; Poundbury near Dorchester, and Flowerbury near Lulworth.


The Roman Ikening Street leads through this county by Vindogladia, now Badbury, near Crayford-Blandford, and Durnovaria, now Wareham.















                  Gold Hill Shaftesbury Dorset(Hovis Adds)                                           Blandford Town Centre


  Blandford centre which was rebuilt in Georgian times after a A devastating fire hit Blandford on Friday 4th June, 1731.

  Rendering 480 families homeless. Over the following 30 years much of the town was rebuilt under the supervision of John       and William Bastard and subsequently has remained largely untouched by re-development. The centre of Blandford Forum     therefore remains a near perfect example of Georgian building style from 1731–60.


 Heres a poem in the old dorset dialect from the great William Barnes.Who is much less known than Thomas Hardy.


The Geate a-Vallen to

(William Barnes’s last dialect poem,

dictated shortly before his death.)


In the zunsheen of our zummers

Wi’ the hay time now a-come,

How busy wer we out a-vield

Wi’ vew a-left at hwome,

When waggons rumbled out ov yard

Red wheeled, wi’ body blue,

And back behind ‘em loudly slamm’d

The geate a’vallen to.


Drough daysheen ov how many years

The geate ha’ now a-swung

Behind the veet o’ vull-grown men

And vootsteps of the young.

Drough years o’ days it swung to us

Behind each little shoe,

As we tripped lightly on avore

The geate a-vallen to.


In evenen time o’ starry night

How mother zot at hwome,

And kept her bleazen vier bright

Till father should ha’ come,

An' how she quicken'd up and smiled

An' stirred her vier anew,

To hear the trampen ho'ses’ steps

An' geate a-vallen to.


There’s moon-sheen now in nights o’ fall

When leaves be brown vrom green,

When, to the slammen o' the geate,

Our Jenny’s ears be keen,

When the wold dog do wag his tail,

An' Jean could tell to who,

As he do come in drough the geate,

The geate a-vallen to.


An' oft do come a saddened hour

When there must goo away

One well-beloved to our heart’s core,

Vor long, perhaps vor aye:

An' oh! it is a touchen thing

The loven heart must rue,

To hear behind his last farewell

The geate a-vallen to

goldhill50 blandford50

The dialect as spoken fell into disuse during the 20th century, though there remain today older folk who can render it well. It is in the work of William Barnes that the dialect is best preserved in writing both in his poetry and his grammar and glossary of the Dorset Dialect.


Each year in advance of the annual dinnner of The Society of Dorset Men, the King/Queen was sent a telegram. In 1950, the telegram ran as follows:  


 To His Majesty King Jarge,

 Oonce more, the Zociety o' Darset Men, voregather'd round

 their vestive bwoard at th' Darchester Hotel vor their Yearly       Junket, d' zend Yer Most Graishus Majesty their dootiful            greetins and expression of unswerven loyalty an' devotion.        May Yer Majesty be zpared to us vor many years as our           pattern an' guide.

            I d' bide, vor all time,

                Yer Vaithful Zarvint and Counsellor


Blackmwore Maidens

The primwrose in the sheade do blow,

The cowslip in the zuin,

The rhyme upon the down do grow,

The clote where streams do run;

An' where do pretty maidens grow

An' blow, but where the tow'r

Do rise among the bricken tuns,

In Blackmwore by the Stour.


If you vrom Wimborne took your road,

To Stower or Paladore,

An' all the farmers' housen show'd

Their daughters at the door;

You'd cry to bachelors at hwome-

"Here, come: 'ithin an hour

You'll vind ten maidens to your mind,

In Blackmwore by the Stour."


An' if you look'd 'ithin their door,

To zee em in their pleace,

A-doen housework up avore

Their smilen mother's feace;

You'd cry-"Why, if a man would wive

An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,

Then let en look en out a wife,

In Blackmwore by the Stour."

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