On the weekend we joined some friends for a walk around the Blackmore Vale, in North Dorset. Although I’ve lived in Dorset for the majority of my life I’ve never hiked around this area before. It was both incredibly striking and incredibly cold! We were able to take in 2 prehistoric hill forts during the walk, Hambledon Hill and Hod Hill.
The views were amazing and I learnt a few things about the history of my home county including the story of the Dorset Clubmen, who played a little known part in the Civil War. The Clubmen were “countryfolk who resented the ‘un-natural’ Civil War and had grown weary of the battles between Cavaliers and Roundheads, and the depredations of the soldiers of both sides which damaged their lands and ruined the crops”. It made me smile to see that even though they were outnumbered and poorly equiped they still didn’t take the hint; “they took a battering wherever they defended their land.” At their final stand at Hambledon Hill they were soundly beaten by Cromwells forces, the few that managed to avoid the usual ‘battering’ were soon caught and locked up in the village church. The next morning Oliver Cromwell decided that they were ‘poor silly creatures’ and after lecturing them sent them home!
I’d strongly recommend a visit to the Blackmore Vale and far more importantly a visit to The Cricketers in Shroton.