Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Church With One Bell - John Martyn

All good things come to an end, and in this case the end involves travel and logistics - in other words a bus ride back to Weymouth and an hour or so in the local Asda supermarket. However, in line with everything else in my life there is no rush so chance to get out for a few hours before returning home. Longham Lake and Poole Harbour were once again options, but with nothing more to offer than what was seen yesterday I returned to Studland to take a closer look at the village.

The Church of St Nicholas of Myra, Studland, Dorset

As with most villages the Church is the hub, but the one here is far from any ordinary ecclesiastical building even in its construction

which is of stout proportions and heavily buttressed, giving the impression of a fortification which was likely the architects intention? Of even more interest is a history stretching back 1,500 years or so when the idea was conceived, while the fabric and construction were not completed until a few years later.

A plaque, at the entrance to the Naive, tells the story better.

As with many graveyards throughout the land, the Yew Tree is prominent here.

Some fine examples of Norman, and earlier, architecture

with 'ropes' of unknown function seemingly leading to the tower.

One of 2Hatchments, a type of family Coat of Arms, often carried ahead of a funeral cortege, which undoubtedly represent the Bankes family.

A view from The Choir.

An interesting window, seemingly designed for a much larger pane but now reduced to little more than a squint. Anything to do with the 'window tax' of 1696?

The North Elevation.

Quite close by is Studland Manor Farm with its fine row of cottages and

and Barn, neither anywhere near as old as the Church.

Old Harry Rocks
are viewable from the village, extending seaward from Handfast Point a promontory of Ballard Down with two theories as to the origin of the name. One legend says that the Devil (traditionally known euphemistically as "Old Harry") had a sleep on the rocks, while another favours the rocks being named after Harry Paye the infamous Poole Pirate, who stored his contraband nearby.

There was an outer 'stack' known as Old Harry's Wife but this fell to erosion in 1896 effectively 'widowing' Old Harry!

These 2 panorama shots taken from the hill at the Isle of Purbeck Golf Club don't really capture the quality of the view this vantage point commands, but gives some idea of the natural beauty we enjoy here in sunny Dorset. From Bournemouth Bay in the east (right), across Poole Harbour entrance

and onward across Poole harbour to Arne and Wareham Heaths.

I don't remember ever publishing any 'underwater' photographs on the Blog, so having received these stunning shots from my friend Andy Lindsay in Derbyshire considered them well worth sharing. Taken by his lady-friend Dawn, something of an accomplished diver I am told, on a 'dip' at the National Diving Centre, Stoney Cove, Leicestershire they are not only of a magnificent fish, but also have a lot of 'feel' about them.

Northern Pike (Esox lucius)