Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Village Entry in the BBC 1986 Domesday Project

In 1986 the BBC launched an ambitious project to record a snapshot of everyday life across the UK for future generations.
A million volunteers took part.
The Country was split into blocks.
Our Village was in Block GB-384000-93000.
Read our entire Entry below...

Photographs of the Village in 1986

Description of Bere Regis
It is a medium-sized village lying at the junction of the roads to Poole and to Bovington.
A bypass goes round it from Poole to Dorchester and buses
pass through.
A brook called Bere Stream runs through the village and a lot of watercress is grown by it.

The cress from the beds is cut and sent away to market.
The village is in a dip between Black Hill and Woodbury Hill.

These hills are covered by woods and heath.
There are five shops,a garage,two pubs,an ancient church and a first school.
Some houses are old and thatched but there are new houses

on an estate.
There is no gas in the village so people use electricity,
oil, wood and coal.
There are quite a lot of clubs.
All round the village are farms.

School View
Looking north from the school mound in the middle of the playground is the village.
Traffic on two roads meets in the middle.
On a slope is the church among big trees.
In the distance is a big house with more trees round it.
Near the roads are smaller houses and the watercress beds.
The bypass goes behind the village.
On the slope of Woodbury Hill are jersey and friesian cows in the fields and woods on the top of the hill.

The road runs along the bottom.
To the east is the river running through fields where cows graze.
The watercress train goes backwards and forwards from one farm to the other beside the river.
On the slope are ploughed fields.
To the south is a large farm and the Purbeck Hills behind.
Next to the playground is a close of semi-detached houses and behind the school is Black Hill.

The New Estate
The new estate was built about eight years ago.
There are semi-detached houses,bungalows and flats with central heating,gardens and showers.

Some houses are privately owned.
There is an old Peoples Home with flats or bed sitting rooms and the Wardens flat.
In the middle there is a Car Park with toilets,where buses and lorries park.
A play park has a slide,swings, climbing frames etc.
The doctor's surgery is used by everyone in the village.
There are a lot of children living on the estate.
Twenty-two of them are at the school.
It is quite quiet and we can ride our bikes there and there are lights until midnight.

Clubs & other Groups
There are many clubs and other groups for the people in the village.
There is a mother and toddler group.
The young children can go to a swimming club.

The young boys can go to cubs.
The young boys and girls can both go to Tuesday Club and Sunday School.
Older children can join the fishing club,youth club,Scouts and bell ringers.
Clubs in the village for women only are Mothers Union, Wives'
Group,Women's Institute and Floral Group.
At Bere Regis First School there is a Keep Fit Class for women every Wednesday.
There is the British Legion,the Sports and social Club to which many of the men in the village belong.
There is a football and cricket team made up from the men in
Bere Regis.

In the course of the year there are many different events.
The following happen once a year.
There is a church garden party.
There is a carnivil.
There is a Bloxworth Fete at Bloxworth house.
At Bere Regis church there is a concert Mr England takes it.
At Bere Regis First School there is a sports day.
At Bloxworth House there is a large fete to raise money for the village of Bloxworth.
There is a Harvest supper each Autumn.
All the different clubs and groups hold jumble sales or coffee
mornings or car boot sales or such like to raise funds.
This year the school parent teacher association is organising an enormous firework display and bonfire evening for the villagers.

The Story of the Village
There was a village here in Saxon times.
The village grew because it was on an important crossroads.
During the Middle Ages it was quite important.

King John built a palace on Court Green.
He often came here.
The manor of Bere Regis was big and the Turberville family were lords of the manor.
There were a lot of fires in the village because the straw roofs burnt quickly.
So many people used to come to Woodbury Hill Fair that there was trouble and fighting and the village got a bad name.
The population of the village reached a peak of nearly 1500 people in the 19th century.
After a decline it is now rapidly approaching that total again with the increase in building.
Woodbury Hill & Fair
Over 2000 years ago,Iron Age tribes built a fort on Woodbury Hill.
A long time after an Anchoret's Chapel was built there.
There was a very deep well next to it.
Legend says that a golden tablet was once hidden there.
Sick people believed that if they drank the water on September 21st they would be healed.
The story goes that a traveller who sold cloth was caught in a storm and dried his cloth by the well on that day.
He sold his cloth and so came back the next year.
So the fair grew up.
Three hundred years ago it was one of the biggest fairs in the south. It lasted 5 days.
The last fair was held in 1951.
The 1st day of the fair was called Wholesale day the 2nd day was Gentlefolk's day the 3rd day was Allfolks day the 4th day was Sheepfair day and the last day was Pack and Penny day.

The Church
There is a church of St. John the Baptist in the centre of the
It is very interesting because of its roof and windows.

The roof is 500 years old.
It has carvings of apostles and a large head of cardinal Morton who had it built.
The stained glass windows have the life of Jesus on them.
The main west window is about John the Baptist. They were put in 100 years ago.

There are some interesting Norman carvings on the pillars.
One is of a man with toothache and two are of men with head aches.

There are two places of worship in the village.
One is the Congregational Chapel and the other is the Church of England Church.
There is a disused Methodist chapel in the middle of the village which is now used as a builders store.
In the school 14 children go to the Congregational
chapel,18 children go to the Church of England Church and 54 children attend neither.
However 66 children were baptised into one or the other faith.
Mr Burke comes up to the school each week to talk to us.

He is from the Church.
Now and again Mr Healey comes to our class assembly.
He is from the Chapel.

Village Life
We like living in Bere Regis because it is in the county-side with plenty of wild-life and fresh air with no town smells.
There is fresh food,fruit,milk and vegetables.
There are clubs and most of the amenities and it is a friendly place.
There is not a lot of heavy traffic and it is a good place to play, with places to walk dogs ride ponies and climb trees.
Most children have Grandparents or aunties near.

There is a good choice of houses, modern, council and old,
thatched ones.
What we don’t like is that there are not enough shops or buses or work for our Dads.

Some have to go a long way every day and get stuck in traffic jams and get home late.
We would like more fetes.
Most of us would not like to move.
Some would prefer a town if their friends could come too.

Anthony's Farm
The name of Anthony's farm is But lands farm.
The name of Anthony's mum and dad is Mr and Mrs Hole.
There are two men on the farm.

There are 230 cows on the farm.
There is one dairy lady.
The cows are all friesians.
16 cows can be milked by machine at a time.
There are 110 acres of barley, 70 acres of wheat, 20 acres of oats which is sent to the mill.
Grass is grown for grazing,hay and silage and maize and turnips for the cows to eat.
The farm has 2 barns , one dairy and one cornstore.
The machinery is one loader, 2 ploughs, 2 rollers,2 trailers and one square baler.
The farm has its own combine.
The size of the farm is 450 acres and it produces 2000 litres
of milk a day.
There are 6 tractors which are used for all sorts of jobs.
This is a survey of the different kinds of transport used by the children in our school.
We asked 90 children.78 children have been in a car, 64 families owned a car.
Many children have been on a bicycle , most families owned a bicycle, few people have ridden on a motorbike.
Some familes own a motorbike.
Some people have ridden a horse,one or two people own a horse.
There is a large coach firm which started in the village.
It is called Bere Regis Coaches.

In fifty years it has grown into a firm with over one hundred coaches.
Some are still kept in the village.
Now its operations are nationwide and it carries the name of Bere Regis a very long way from the village.

A Mum's Day
Mum gets up at 7 o'clock.
She puts the kettle on and has a cup of coffee and then she goes upstairs to get washed and dressed.
Then she wakes up Anthony and myself.
After that she goes back downstairs to make our drink and sandwiches and tidies up and makes the beds.
After Mum sees Anthony and myself off to school she drives to Poole where she works.
Mum finishes work at half past three at Plessey's and drives home.
Then she goes to the shops to get what she needs for the dinner.
After Mum has cooked the meal she tidies the kitchen.
Then we all watch T.V. for a bit and then Mum puts me to bed.
She comes back downstairs to watch T.V. then when she goes to bed she reads a book.
Nicola My Mum gets up at 6 o'clock and milks the cows and goes to work in Dorchester at 8.30 until 5.Caroline.

A Dad's Day
My Daddy works on a farm. At 4.30a.m he wakes up and at 5.30 he starts to milk the cows.
After he has done the milking he feeds the heifers with hay and straw and cake.
Then he goes to see the dry cows to see if any of then have calf.
Then he comes home for breakfast .

Then when he has had breakfast he goes back to another farm and does some tractor work at 1o'clock he comes home for dinner.
After dinner he goes on and looks at some more cattle then he goes and milk the cows again then he returns home for his tea at 7o'clock.
And after tea Daddy falls to sleep and Mummy starts moaning.

A Boy's Day
I get up at around 8 clock.
I get dressed and wash my hands and face and brush my teeth.
I go down stair and have my breakfast. then when I ve had breakfast I blow the husks out of my bugies grain change his water and have a glass of milk.
Then I go to school by car or if the car wouient start I have to walk.
When I get to school I get out my pencilc case and reading book and do some reading.
Then we get on with some maths or english work and after a while we swop round and do the other one.
At 12 o'clock we have lunch and at half past 3 i go home.
When i get home i watch T.V.
At 6 o'clock we have tea.

After tea i have a bath and go to bed.
Charlie Greenfield.

A Girl's Day
In the morning when I wake up I stay in bed and knit.
When it is seven o clock I get out of bed get dressed and brush my hair then I have my breakfast.
At a quarter to nine I go to school by car and at nine o clock I start my work.
Before the second playtime I have my milk and half past ten I go out to play.
When we come back we do more work until 12 o'clock, then its dinner time.
After play I have my puffer and go back into class and we  do activities and a story.
At 3.30 we go home.
When I am home I go outside until 5 o'clock then I watch television.
At six o'clock I have tea and go back outside until bedtime at eight.

The family that owns the watercress beds employs the most people and three of the children in our class have mums
that work there.
The Post office employs 2 people,Seymours shop 5,the garage 3,the butcher 3,the antique shop and cafe 4,the upholsterer 2.
Anthony House the carpenter sometimes employs helpers and the electrician,Michael Eastment, occasionally has someone to help him.
There are 2 hairdressers.Griffin and Barnes builders employ secretaries and labourers.
The pubs,the Royal Oak and the Drax Arms,employ people and firemen work at the Fire Station.
The Surgery employs 6,our school employs 13 people:teachers,dinner ladies, helper, secretaries and cleaners.13 work on Paul's dad's farm and others on the pig farm and at Doddings.
The caravan site employs people in summer.

In our gardens we see lots of birds like wrens,robins,sparrows,
blackbirds and bluetits.
Up Black and Woodbury hills there are pheasants and birds of prey like kestrels and buzzards.
Housemartins get mud from the river and catch insects,herons fish there.
In the woods there are night animals like foxes,owls and badgers.

There are adders,smooth snakes,lizards and grass snakes.
Rabbits,hares and deer live on the hills and lots of

insects too including Speckled wood butterflies.
Down at the brook a sort of blackfly called the dreaded Blandford bomber bites people.

There are holly,oak and hazel,squirrels eat the nuts.
Primroses and bluebells grow in the woods and watercress in the stream.
We see Tortoiseshell,Painted Lady and Red Admiral butterflies in our gardens and bats fly around.

Changes this Century
There used to be a lot of traffic going through the village.
Then a by-pass was built four years ago.
It was to stop noise and vibration through west street.
There is not so much traffic now.
North street has been blocked at the end by a fence.
There is a new surgery it has moved from Roke
road to Manor Farm Road and is very nice.
There is an old peoples home which was built when the council estate was built it is called Turberville Court.
There are two new antique shops and one coffee shop.
Beamisters has closed down so has the hairdressing salon.
There is no Woodbury Fair,street market and there are no more fairs in the recreational grounds.

The Future
We think that tractors will be more powerful and faster at thier work.
We think less people will be ill because there will be more technology and there will be more pipes under-ground fitted by gasmen.
Transport will be cheaper and so will petrol,and we think that the population of the world will get bigger by the minute.
Schools will be full of computers and not so many teachers.
There will not be so many rain forests and rare animals will only be seen in captivity.

Many people will go into space and visit the moon,Mars, Pluto and our galaxy.
Telephones will have little gaps in the middle for televisions.
Comparison Maps between 1986 & 2011
In 1086 King William ordered a new, more detailed survey of his newly acquired Kingdom in order to asses its wealth and its tax potential.
Officials of all Manors were required to furnish not only details of the amounts of ploughland, meadow, pasture and woodland, but the numbers of personnel employed in the form of Villeins, Cottars, Bodars and Serfs together with the numbers of Livestock.
They had also to state the previous owner in the time of King Edward (1042-1066), before the Conquest and the present Tenant in Chief (Demesne land) and the sub-tenants (Mesne tenants).

The king died before it was completed. 900 years later (1986 was the 900th anniversary of the publication of the book) 90% of the towns & villages still remain.

The original book was hand-written by, probably, a single monk.
It still exists and is kept at the UK's Public Record Office in Kew, near London. It is kept secure in a metal chest, to be carefully removed every few centuries or so when they need re-binding.

The questionnaire sent out for the Domesday survey asked:

The name of the place
Who held it before 1066
Who holds it now (1085)
How many hides (1 hide of 20 acres could support 1 family)
How many ploughs
How many Lordships
How many men
How much woodland
How much meadow
How much pasture
How many villages
How many cottagers
How many slaves
How many free men
How many Freeman
How many mills
How many fish ponds
What the total value was
What the total value is
How much each free man or Freeman had or has

The Village is mentioned several times in the Domesday Book in 1086.
Further down the Page you can find Notes on the Domesday Entries for different parts of the Parish.

Unlike the Geld Rolls which were listed by Hundreds, the Domesday Survey was listed under the headings of those who held the land as tenants in chief, so that the two surveys require to be studied together if it is desired to extract the items relating to one particular Hundred.

Most of the place names in the Domesday Survey can be readily located even when they have undergone considerable changes, but in the case of all the various Winterbourne villages along the two Dorset streams of the same name, they are almost all called simply Wintreburne.
It is therefore not possible to identify many of them with certainty and Winterborne Kingston, known to have been in Bere Hundred, is not on this account referred to in the following notes on the Domesday entries.
Places which were in the Hundred but which do not now come within the present parish are dealt with more briefly.

A. The Royal Manor. Held by the King, it hidage is not known as it was not referred to as an individual manor.

B. Scetra or Scetre (Shitterton).
This seems to have been temporarily a royal manor at the time of Domesday. Ulviet had held it before the conquest and Hugh Fitz Grip had held it subsequently.
It contained 5 hides of which the King held 3 1/2 in demesne and the villeins held 1/2 hide.
There was arable land for 4 ploughs of which the King held 1 and the villeins 1.
There were 4 acres of meadow, pasture 2 furlongs x2 furlongs, woodland 3 furlongs x3 furlongs, 6 villeins, 3 bordars, 5 serfs, 20 pigs and 120 sheep. It was worth 100s. (£5) a year, but it had been worth £6 a year when Hugh Fitz Grip first received it.

C. The Churches of Dorchestre (Dorchester) and Bere.
For some reason these two church lands were dealt with together.
Bristuard the priest held them and their tithes, containing in all 1 hide and 20 acres and worth £4 a year.

D. Bere (Doddingsbere, now Doddings Farm). Containing 1/2 hide and held by the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip as chief tenant. William (De Monasteriis) was sub-tenant and Leomer had held it before the conquest.
There was a mill rendering 20s. (£1) a year, arable land for 1/2 plough, 6 acres of meadow, 6 acres of pasture, 1 bordar, 10 beasts, 45 sheep, 28 pigs and 1 pack-horse.
The manor was worth 30s. (£1.50) a year.

It is stated, as a separate entry, presumably still relating to Doddings, that William held 1 1/2 virgates from the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip, worth 20s. (£1) a year.

E. Affapidele (Affpuddle). Containing 9 hides and held by the Abbot of Cerne both before and after the conquest.

F. Pidele (Turnerspuddle or Tonerspuddle).
Containing 6 hides and held by the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip as chief tenant. Walter Tonitruus (origin of Tonerspuddle?) was sub-tenant and Gerling had held it before the conquest.

G. Pidele (Briantspuddle).
Containing 5 hides and held by Godric the priest., Azor had held it before the conquest.

H. Meleburne or Meleborne (Milborne Stileham). Part 1:-
Containing 2 hides and held by Odo Fitz Eurebold.
Dodo had held it before the conquest. Part 2 :- Held by Swain as chief tenant.
Osmund was sub-tenant and Swain's father had held it before the conquest.

I. Bovintone (Bovington).
Containing 4 hides and held by Alvric who had also held it before the conquest.

J. Beastewelle (Bestwall Farm in Wareham Lady St. Mary Parish).
Containing 3 hides and held in demesne by the Count of Mortain. Edmar had held it before the conquest.

K. Aelfatune or Hafeltone (Hethfelton
in East Stoke Parish). Part 1 :- Containing 3 virgates (3/4 hide) and held in demesne by the Abbot of Cerne both before and after the conquest. Part 2 :- Containing 2 hides and held by William of Briouze as chief tenant.
Robert was sub-tenant and Aedelflete had held it before the conquest. Part 3 :- Containing 1 1/2 hides and held in demesne by Alulf the Chamberlain. Azor had held it before the conquest.

L. Ristone (Rushton in East Stoke Parish). Part 1 :-
Containing 1 1/2 hides and held by William of Briouze as chief tenant. Walter was sun-tenant and Burde had held it before the conquest. As a matter of interest it rendered each year 30s. (£1.50) and 4 sesters of honey. Part 2 :- Containing 3 virgates (3/4 hide) and held by Odo Fitz Eurebold. Part 3 :- Containing 1/2 hide and held by the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip as chief tenant. Two Knights, one of them named Turold, were sub-tenant and 3 thanes had held it before the conquest. Part 4 :- Containing 1 virgate (1/4 hide) and held by Ailward. Part 5 :- Containing 1 hide (less 1/2 virgate) and held by Edric. Sawin had held it before the conquest.

M. Vergroh, Weregrote or Wiregrote (Worgret in Arne Parish). Part 1 :-
Containing 1 hide and held in demesne by the Abbot of Cerne. Part 2 :- Containing 1 3/4 hides and held by William of Briouze as chief tenant. Walter was sub-tenant and Brictuin had held it before the conquest. Part 3 :- Containing 1 virgate (1/4 hide) and held by Hugh Gosbert. Almar had held it before the conquest.