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Bere Regis: Your Gateway to Exploring a Charming Village
** BBQs and campfire ban in Dorset **
Recently, there has been a growing concern regarding the ban on BBQs and campfires in Dorset. As the summer season approaches and people flock to the beautiful beaches and countryside of this stunning county, the authorities have decided to implement strict regulations. This decision stems from the increasing number of wildfires that have ravaged the area in previous years, causing immense damage to the natural habitats and posing a significant risk to public safety. While the ban may disappoint many who were eagerly looking forward to enjoying a barbecue or a cozy campfire under the starry night sky, it is crucial to understand the necessity of prioritizing the protection of our environment. By adhering to these restrictions, we can ensure that Dorset remains a safe and sustainable destination for all to enjoy.
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Bere Regis: A Picturesque Village in Dorset

Nestled in the heart of Dorset, England, lies the charming village of Bere Regis. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm community spirit, this small village is a hidden gem worth exploring.

Dating back to the Roman times, Bere Regis has a fascinating history. The village was once a significant center for the production of Purbeck marble, which was used to build some of England's most iconic structures, including Salisbury Cathedral. Visitors can still witness the remnants of this historical industry in the local church, St. John the Baptist.

One of the most prominent features of Bere Regis is its idyllic location. Surrounded by picturesque countryside, the village offers a perfect escape from bustling city life. The rolling hills, meandering rivers, and lush green fields provide a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. The nearby Wareham Forest offers ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.

For history buffs, Bere Regis offers plenty of historical landmarks and sites to explore. The village is famous for its connections to the legendary author, Thomas Hardy, who used Bere Regis as the inspiration for his novels. Hardy's Cottage, located just a short drive away, is a delightful thatched-roof cottage where the author was born and spent his early years. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of Hardy and gain insights into his works and life.

The village also boasts a strong community spirit and a range of amenities for residents and visitors alike. The local pubs, The Drax Arms and the Royal Oak are a popular spot for locals to gather, serving delicious food and a wide array of drinks.

Additionally, Bere Regis is well-connected to other nearby attractions, making it an excellent base for exploring the wider region. The bustling market town of Dorchester, famous for its association with the novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, is just a short drive away. Visitors can visit the Hardy's Statue and explore the town's many historical sites and museums. The stunning Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also within easy reach, offering breathtaking views and fossil hunting opportunities.

Whether you are seeking a tranquil retreat, a historical exploration, or an outdoor adventure, Bere Regis has something to offer everyone. With its charming village atmosphere, fascinating history, and stunning surroundings, this hidden gem in Dorset is waiting to be discovered. So, next time you plan a trip to England, be sure to include Bere Regis on your itinerary and experience the magic of this picturesque village.
Get ready to meet the fear-inducing, pants-wetting, heart-stopping scarecrows of Bere Regis! These terrifying creatures will have you running for your life, as they stand tall and menacing in the gardens, ready to scare the living daylights out of anyone who dares to cross their path. Don't forget to pack an extra pair of undies, because these scarecrows are not for the faint of heart!
May's Wood Bere Regis
May's Woodland
These wonderful Woods, covering much of the farmland south of Shitterton and running up to Black Hill, were the idea of Dr Brian May CBE.
Having purchased the land in 2012, he shared his 100,000 tree planting plans and then proceeded to turn his dreams into reality.
This page acts as a pictorial record following that journey and also showing you how the Woods are developing today and into the future.
Book on Bere Regis Wells
Well, Well, Well
Local Villager John England wrote a book in 2012 on the Wells, Pumps & Boreholes of Bere Regis, called 'Well Well Well'.
Over 250 Wells are recorded with over 100 photographs to illustrate.
The book is only £5 available at the village Post Office, with a copy to read at the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist.
You can read an extract from it, by clicking the link below or the photograph here of the well at Honeycombe Cottage, in Shitterton.
Bere Regis Scarecrows
Bere Regis Scarecrows
When we adopted a Scarecrow theme to the show and introduced scarecrows it was hoped to stimulate interest in the Village show. The Committee thought if we get 10, and more people came to the show, it would be good.
We did not expect to get ambushed with over 50 scarecrows popping up all over the village.
What a fantastic effort.
The infamous King John had a palace of sorts here and about the year 1000 AD, Queen Elfrida, never having recovered from her dastardly deed at Corfe Castle, died in a nunnery.

On the credit side Bere Regis was the home of Simon de Montfort father of the English Parliament.
Born in France, and retired to England in 1231, on account of some dispute with Queen Blanche.
Henry III. received him very kindly, bestowed upon him the earldom of Leicester, which had formerly been held by his father, and gave him his sister, Eleanor, the countess dowager of Pembroke, in marriage, Jan. 1238.

In 1248 Henry appointed him seneschal of Gascony; but his vigorous rule made him so many enemies, that in 1252 he was recalled, and a violent altercation took place between him and the king.
A reconciliation was, however, effected, and De Montfort was employed on several occasions, in a diplomatic and military capacity.
In June 1258 he appeared at the parliament of Oxford, at the head of the armed barons, and obtained the passing of the ordinances known as the Provisions of Oxford.
De Montfort then became head of a new council of state and virtual sovereign.

The king refusing to abide by the Provisions, a civil war broke out, which ended in the triumph of the barons at the battle of Lewes, in May, 1264.
In January of the following year De Montfort carried out the first of the Provisions by summoning knights of shires and burgesses to the parliament.

He thus became the founder of the English House of Commons.
In the same year a powerful party was raised up against him among the barons, and soon afterwards the battle of Evesham was fought, in which the royal forces were led by Prince Edward, and there, in attempting to rally his troops, by rushing into the midst of the enemy, De Montfort was surrounded and slain, Aug. 4, 1265.

The most famous of Bere Regis's residents however were the Turbervilles, who came to Bere in the reign of Henry VIII and remained for centuries.
Their fame however has more to do with Thomas Hardy than anything the family did.
Hardy chose them as the basis for his D'Urbeville family, and such is the power of his writing that we have almost bocome convinced that Tess, a novelist's fancy, really lived.

Shitterton Village History: Unveiling the Fascinating Past of an Unfortunate Name

Nestled in the picturesque county of Dorset, England, lies a small village with a name that has raised many eyebrows and elicited chuckles over the years - Shitterton. While the name may evoke images of a humorous, crude nature, this charming village actually has a rich and intriguing history that goes far beyond its unfortunate moniker.

Shitterton's origins can be traced back to medieval times when it was known as Scatera, meaning 'a place where water flows.' It was a small farming community, with agriculture forming the backbone of its economy. Over time, the name gradually transformed into Shitterton, likely due to shifts in pronunciation and language evolution.

One theory suggests that the name 'Shitterton' may have originated from the Old English word 'scitte,' meaning a small stream or watercourse. As the village was located near a stream, it is plausible that the name developed in reference to this geographical feature. However, this explanation remains speculative, and the true etymology of the name continues to be a subject of debate among historians.

Despite its peculiar name, Shitterton has a history that is no different from any other English village. It played its part in various historical events, including the Norman Conquest of 1066 when it fell under the control of William the Conqueror. The Doomsday Book, a comprehensive survey of England conducted in 1086, mentions Shitterton as a settlement with several households.

Throughout the centuries, Shitterton continued to thrive as an agricultural community, with its inhabitants primarily engaged in farming, livestock rearing, and cottage industries. The village remained relatively isolated, shielded from the rapid industrialization that swept through other parts of the country during the 18th and 19th centuries.

However, in recent times, the village gained unintended fame due to its name. Shitterton was repeatedly voted as having one of the most unfortunate place names in the United Kingdom, attracting media attention and eliciting a mixture of amusement and sympathy from both locals and outsiders.

Amidst this notoriety, the residents of Shitterton took a stand and decided to reclaim their village's name. In 2012, they erected a limestone sign, weighing over a ton, proudly displaying the name 'Shitterton' along with an explanation of its historical significance. The sign has become a symbol of the village's resilience and a testament to the sense of community that exists within its boundaries.

Today, Shitterton remains a peaceful and idyllic village, attracting visitors who are curious about its quirky name and intrigued by its fascinating history. Its picturesque cottages, thatched roofs, and charming countryside continue to enchant those who venture off the beaten path.

Shitterton serves as a reminder that names, however amusing or peculiar they may be, do not define a place entirely. Behind the surface lies a community with a deep-rooted history, resilience, and a story that deserves to be told. So the next time you come across the name 'Shitterton,' remember that it is more than just a name - it is an emblem of a village with a captivating past and a testament to the enduring spirit of its inhabitants.
World War 1 Research
World War 1 Research
As part of the community Bere 14-18 Commemorations, a small team is researching the lives of the men of our three local parishes (Bere Regis, Winterborne Kingston & Affpuddle /Turnerspuddle) who served in the forces in the Great War.
If you think you are a descendent of any of the men listed and may have some family or service history or mementoes (Photos, medals, service papers, cuttings, etc ) about them, could you kindly contact Philip Ventham on 01929 471215, he would be very pleased to speak with you.
Any information, however insignificant, is of interest as very often, family recollections can fill gaps in the official records.
All contributions will be acknowledged and mementoes recorded and returned.