The best of Dorset in words and pictures

Osmington

Ken Ayres finds a village that has much more to offer than might appear at first sight

St Osmunds Church,Osmington

The oldest part of St. Osmund’s Church is the chancel arch, which dates back from 1200. The church was largely re-built by Benjamin Ferney in the 1840’s.

The ruins of the Tudor mansion

The ruins of the Tudor mansion built by the Warham family. William Warham was created Archbishop of Canterbury by Henry VII and crowned Henry VIII.

The stone pulpit in St Osmunds Church,Osmington

The stone pulpit in St Osmund’s is Victorian. Also in the church is a Warham family monument with the thought-provoking inscription: ‘Man is a glass-Life is as water that’s weakly walled about-– Sinne brings Death – Death breakes the glass – So runs the water out. Finis.’

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The plaque to St Osmund near the church gate, St Osmunds Church,Osmington

The plaque to St Osmund near the church gate shows him holding what looks suspiciously like Salisbury Cathedral. St Osmund did indeed build a cathedral while he was Bishop of Salisbury in the 10th century, but at Old Sarum; the building we see today was not dedicated until 1258.

St Osmunds Church,Osmington

The gate to the Old Vicarage. One of the 19th-century vicars was John Fisher, a friend of John Constable, and the painter spent a six-week honeymoon here in 1816.

A rather charming decoration on a wall in the village.,Osmington

A rather charming decoration on a wall in the village. The carved animal for which Osmington is better known is its White Horse, cut into the hillside a mile to the north-west.

One of several handsome examples of thatch ,Osmington

One of several handsome examples of thatch in the village. As ‘Osmyntone’ appears in a charter of 934, before St Osmund was born, the village’s name probably reflects someone also called Osmund who held land here. The church’s dedication then followed from the village name rather than vice versa.

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