Sunday, 8 July 2018

Looking For One Of England's Greatest Poets.

We had a few problems finding paths and places when we were looking around Hardy Country.  My friend is something of an authority on Thomas Hardy and we found a lot of interesting places off the roads and along the well beaten tracks.  

One place in particular that was difficult to find was Winterborne Came.  Its an old manor house and country estate and the village has been deserted and abandoned for the last two hundred years. 

In the end my friend knocked on a door of an house on the outskirts of Dorchester and a kind gentleman pointed us in the right direction.

You would find it difficult to find this finger-post sign if you were in a car.

We walked through a path along a wheat (or corn/) field without out a single weed in sight.

Came House.  Where the great Dorset dialect poet William Barnes was vicar of St Peters Church.  He was a friend of Thomas Hardy and would often walk the two miles to Dorchester to set his pocket watch with the church clock there.  My old friend sent me some of the photos he took to accompany mine.  Thanks!

 One of the estate buildings with a Gothic style building.

 Tombs from the Sixteenth century.

Inside St Peter's Church.

William Barnes memorial and grave stone.

Old walled kitchen garden.  No longer in production, sadly.

St Peter's church.  We saw lots of ancient churches.  I kept saying: "Real England still exists, doesn't it?"

William Barnes grave.  

Here's  a video of one of his poems I found on You Tube.  Thanks for posting these folks!

Have you heard of William Barnes?    I had never heard of him before. He championed the rural peasant and a way of life that's now gone forever , sadly.  Some people call him: "The English Robert Burns".  There is a William Barnes Society.  


  1. I njpyed the recording. Not come across John Barnes before, Dave. John Clare, who’s poems I ocassionally post wrote on similar rural labouring themes. I wouldn’t mind a walled garden like the one you visited.

  2. Thanks Philip. I like John Clare very much. They lived in a time when the seasons, working the land and a love of nature was always of the most importance. I would love a walled kichen garden like the one at Heligan or the one in tbe photograph. Tbink I would need some gardening staff and a wheel hoe and a donkey and cart.

  3. I'm enjoying this series. Keep it going!

    Barnes is a new name for me. I'm not sure about these old pocket watch tales.
    Pinch of salt might be handy.

  4. You found some interesting places with your mate Dave. I have just been looking up Winterborne Came and Came House and the church. You have got me thinking that there must be some of my relations buried thereabouts. Good pictures. I listened to Barnes; he must have been an interesting man and man of the church too. So many things there are for us to learn. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Rachel. Winterborne Came is a rural idyll. Absolutely beautiful and so peaceful. You should look up your Dorchester family burial places and where they lived. I hope you blog about them please!

      William Barnes knew a lot of famous literary giants and could speak many languages. Thanks.

  5. Thanks Gwil. I am waiting for auntie beeb to commision a television or radio series.

    I like pocket watch tales. My grandfather could tell the time of the day by looking at the sea. I just look at my mobile phone. I am glad you're enjoying the series Gwil!

    1. An interesting grave to visit in Devon is the grave of Sir John Betjamin. It's in a small churchyard in the middle of some sand dunes. You might not find it if it's been blowing a gale. It might be a tall story but legend has it the church itself was once buried by sand. I like the photos and in particular the one of the green signpost in the green vegetation.

  6. I often feel like Philip Larkin in his Church Going poem Gwil. They feel so surreal yet peaceful amost a sanctuary to this modern world for ten minutes or so. I will look up the J B grave. My friend took the green fingerpost sign. It was difficult to find near a busy roundabout and dual carriage way.

  7. Yes, real England does still exist if you know where to look. I listened/watched the video and was bowled over by that wonderful accent.

  8. Hi Valerie. Real England is still there in rural Dorset. The Dorset accent in the video is wonderful. Wish we could live in that bygone world again. Thanks!

  9. Thank you for sharing valuable information nice post,I enjoyed reading this post.



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