Keeping it Local
22 MIleaters met for their September walk in Dorchester for unusually, a partly town-based walk. It was an easy, mostly flat route over 5.75 miles taking us to Stinsford and back via the Roman Town House, Borough Gardens and West Walks.
The change of emphasis planned by Rosie and Gerald Duke was intended to give newer friends a glimpse of the town right on their doorstep. We started at Maumbury Rings, the site of one of the 3 prehistoric henges in Dorchester dating from 2500 BC.
Next we came via South Walks to a Martinstown link to the Dorset Martyrs statues by Dame Elizabeth Frink. Much more of her work is to be found in the Museum. One of the martyrs was Martinstown priest John Adams and a full write up of the history of his story can be found in Valley and Valance of 16th April 2017 by Terry Hearing. Find out more at https://tinyurl.com/ycumtkhb. John Adams was beatified in 1987 by Pope John Paul 2nd.
We carried on through Salisbury Fields and down to the River Frome turning to the water meadows at Longbridge in Lubbeck Way and on through the grounds of the agricultural college at Kingston Mauward. Stopping at Stinsford Church for a coffee break, the grave of Thomas Hardy was found that reputedly contains his heart. The question of the day left walkers musing whether it really was his heart as local folklore suggests his cat took it from the kitchen table as it was being prepared for the casket.
We then returned to Dorchester via Greys Bridge and the river walk from the White Hart round to Hangman’s Cottage. Instead of our usual country pub for lunch, we watered ourselves in the snug of Vivo Lounge. An eye opener for many who nevertheless seemed to enjoy the change.