The Piddle Valley owes its name to the River Piddle that flows through it. The name is derived from the old English word, ‘pidele’, meaning a marsh or fen. Queen Victoria disapproved of the name Piddle, so it was changed to Puddle for a number of years.
The village of Piddletrenthide in the Piddle Valley was owned by Emma, daughter of the Duke of Normandy, when she married the English king, Ethelred the Unready. When he died, she married King Canute and gave the village to the Benedictine monastery at Winchester. After the dissolution of the monasteries, it was owned by Winchester College until the 1950s.
If you’re in the area, you ought to visit All Saints church at Piddletrenthide which has a splendid 15th century tower adorned by gruesome-looking gargoyles. Much of the church is Norman including the south doorway and the piers of the chancel arch. However, many people comment on the colours of the outside walls, especially the yellows and browns, which look particularly lovely in the evening sunlight.
Thomas Hardy, as a young man, worked on the church and some say that the D’Urbervilles of “Tess of the D'Urbervilles” was a name derived from the Dumberfield family whose graves were in the churchyard.
In the 1959, Ogden Nash, the American poet, saw an advertisement in Country Life which inspired him to write a poem which begins:
Had I the shillings, pounds and pence,
I'd pull up stakes and hie me hence;
I'd buy that small mixed farm in Dorset
Which has an inglenook and faucet
In the valley of the River Piddle.
The other village worthy of a visit is Briantspuddle on the southern side of the River Piddle in the Piddle Valley. A favourite resting point for cyclists and walkers, Briantspuddle gives easy access to the Culpeppers Dish area of Dewlish Forest and the crossroads are on The Jubilee Way path through Dorset.
When you’re staying with us, a visit to the Piddle Valley near Plumber Manor hotel is certainly worth a visit.
Other places well worth a visit whilst staying with us:
Lulworth, Studland, Salisbury Racecourse, Wincanton Racecourse, Mapperton, Wilton House, Longleat House and Safari Park, Bovington Tank Museum, Athelhampton House, Milton Abbey, Melplash, Parnham, Larmer Tree Gardens, the Salisbury International Arts Festival, the Plush Music Festival, the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival, the Great Dorset Steam Fair, Cranborne Chase and Dorset Opera.
Plumber Manor is recommended by:
Michelin, The Good Food Guide, The Good Hotel Guide, the Best Loved Hotels and Johansens guides.