Dark Dorset Online Scrapbook is an archive of current and past events relating to local history, folklore and mysteries that can be discovered in the English county of Dorset.

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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Safety fears at Hardy's monument

Hardy's Monument is crumbling away due to erosion.

The famous West Dorset landmark has been closed to the public because wind and frost have eaten into the 72-foot tall structure.

Crumbling stonework fell from the Victorian structure days after the National Trust fenced off the site near Portesham.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 28th February 2009

Friday, 27 February 2009

In the name of love help the toads cross safely

Lovesick toads are being given a helping hand as they set off on a dangerous quest for romance.

Volunteers are being recruited to carry the amorous amphibians across the busy Broadwindsor to Drimpton road so they can reach their breeding lakes at Sandpit in safety.

READ MORE - Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Friday 27th February 2009

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Ghost hunters' chance to spend night at haunted Five Bells Inn, Whitchurch Canonicorum

Daring ghost hunters are being invited to spend the night in one of the South West’s most haunted locations.

A professional paranormal investigator will be on hand to help look for signs of things that go bump in the night at the Five Bells Inn in Whitchurch Canonicorum near Bridport.

The charity event, on March 14, will raise funds for the Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT).

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 26th February 2009

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Fight goes on to raise funds for Wimborne museum project

“THE fight definitely goes on.”

That’s the pledge from the fundraising group behind Wimborne’s Priest’s House Museum now that plans to fund an extension to the High Street attraction have been set back.

District councillors recently voted to withdraw £500,000 of matched funding for the project, following the failure of a bid from the museum for the same amount to the Heritage Lottery, last autumn.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 25th February 2009

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Readers raise £1,000 in a weekend to save mystery cat

In just one weekend more than £1,000 has been pledged to save the mystery French cat found abandoned in Weymouth.

Since the appeal started in the Echo on Friday donations have been flying in from passionate cat lovers who want to ensure that the stray moggie can stay in quarantine until being re-homed.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 24th February 2009

Two crop-circle experts die within hours of each other

The crop circle community has been left stunned after two of its leading lights died within hours of each other.

Dorset investigator and conference organiser David Kingston passed away last week after a year-long battle with cancer.

Meanwhile, the body of crop circle investigator Paul Vigay was found on the Hampshire coast at Southsea.

READ MORE - Source: Western Gazette Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunday, 22 February 2009

OBITUARY - David Kingston: 1938-2009

We announced earlier this month the news that David Kingston, local paranormal investigator was very ill (see blog entry Alchemist Evenings cancelled). We have recently heard the sad news that David Kingston has died after his battle with cancer.

David was born in Worthing, West Sussex, United Kingdom in July 1938. Whilst attending a private boarding school near Horsham, Sussex, he experienced his first "esoteric, spiritual event". After completing his education he studied radio theory and practical at Brighton College. After gaining his qualification he joined the Royal Air Force in 1957.

David has investigated and witnessed the UFO phenomena as part of his position in the Royal Air Force and investigated numerous sightings by pilots and other Air Force staff. During his period of service he was posted as liaison personnel with the United States Air Force, Strategic Air Command Division, and a great deal of his research papers ended up in the famous "Project Blue Book."

In 1972 he took up a position with the Inner London Education Authority until 1981 when he was transferred to the Dorset Education Department. David retired in 1997 to continue his own private investigation into UFOs and the Crop Circle phenomena, searching for a correlation between the two enigmas. Being a prominent figure in Dorset within his field, David also provided lectures, workshops, and was the founder of the successful Dorchester Unexplained Conference that was held every spring and which we attended on numerous occasions in the past, and have always found enjoyable. David and his wife Virginia organised the weekend conference in the county town, which attracted some of the best known international and national lecturers on topics such as UFOs, Crop Circle Formations and other topics in The Unexplained category.

A few years ago David contributed this article to us about "Ghosts and Things that go Bump in the Night" as follows:
The word Ghost is described in the Oxford dictionary as, "a person's spirit appearing after his or her death." But then what about the reports of horses galloping down the lanes on a dark night and other such apparitions? Why do certain countries, houses and places appear to have more than there fair share of Ghosts?

Great Britain has more ghost sightings reported than any other country, or is it that we tend to accept paranormal happenings?


We need to look deeper at what truly constitutes a ghost. Every living thing on this planet is pure energy. At the time of death energy does not suddenly die or disappear therefore where does it go?


We need to look purely at the scientific facts. All living things resonate a frequency. If you stop reading this article and leave the chair you have been sitting in, an impression of you remains there for a period of time, both a thermal and an energy field. Does the frequency that we resonate disappear at the time of death? or does it go to another dimension?


There are a great deal of "ghostly" sightings on energy lines (ley-lines) in England. Are ghosts drawn to these invisible but measurable lines? Ghostly appearances quite often occur when a person departs this life suddenly, i.e. a car accident fatality, a brutal murder and quite often are seen at or near the place they died. Other ghosts seem to be drawn to places on the earthly plane where they experienced very happy times and seem loath to join the spirit world.


Public houses seem to have more than their fair share of ghosts or should it be spirits.? Sorry for the pun. The Crown Hotel, in Blandford, Dorset, Three Tuns Inn, Steyning, Sussex, George Hotel, Rye, Sussex and The Kings Head, Rochester, Kent to name just a few of the hundreds in England. Some of the cases I have investigated in public houses have proven to be unjustified and I firmly believe that they were started by innocent imagination or for monetary gain.


Whilst I was stationed at RAF Hedley Court in the early 1960's, (a converted Cromwellian Manor House, near Leatherhead), which was used as a medical rehabilitation unit for mainly RAF pilots several interesting incidents occurred. There was a particular four-inch thick oak door that could not be locked for a period of time. The night duty officer would lock this door whilst on his rounds only to find that within ten minutes all the very old-fashioned wrought iron bolts and the lock would return to the position they were in before he had commenced his nightly vigil of securing the building. This, despite numerous watches for pranks, carried on for some three months. Whilst stationed there a pilot officer.

Started to scream out at eleven thirty one evening. By the time several officers and myself had arrived in his room the eight feet tall mahogany ornately carved wardrobe was lent against the bottom of his bed at a forty degree angle from the wall.

The wardrobe had not fallen on its own, the indent from the weight of the wardrobe was still in the carpet, there was not even the slightest damage mark on the wardrobe from where it had landed to the base of the oak bed. The officer patient that was in the bed was on no medication and was due to be discharged back to his wing the following day. It took six of us able-bodied men to return the wardrobe back to its upright position. The officer stated he was reading in bed when suddenly there was a drop in temperature in the room, he put down his book and was amazed to see the wardrobe being gently lowered towards his bed as if by unseen hands. There were many more reports of "paranormal activity" reported whilst I was at Headley Court.


Before moving to Dorset in 1981 I investigated numerous cases from my home county in Sussex. I have witnessed "sightings" for which there were no logical or scientific answers. Ghostly figures that had the ability to float through walls, to rattle and distort solid steel doors, to cause a sudden dramatic drop in temperature before returning to normal in a matter of seconds, footsteps echoing in corridors and on floors in broad daylight and no person visible. Unusual scents, perfume, tobacco smoke and putrid smells. These days investigation of "hauntings" has taken on more of a scientific approach. The use of thermal imaging, electronic thermometers and infrared photography and digital sound recording machines to mention only a few of the twentieth century pieces of technology.

In Dorchester before the Antler Hotel, Cornhill, was demolished and the present shops erected a figure was often seen or a presence felt near to the fireplace. I often felt this presence but did not see any figure. After research I discovered that, in the past, Lawrence of Arabia was a regular visitor to this public house after driving into Dorchester on his motorcycle from Clouds Hill, Bovington to meet up with his acquaintances. I have visited the shop that is now on the site and the presence can still be felt at times. There are also "sightings" of Lawrence at Clouds Hill where he was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Dorset has numerous haunted areas, houses and buildings. Bettiscombe House, between Lyme Regis and Broadwindsor is famous for the "Screaming Skull" which has featured in many books and television documentaries.


Sherborne Castle. Sir Walter Raleigh lived for many years at the castle. His ghost is alleged to walk around the castle grounds and then to disappear in the harbour by the tree known locally as Raleigh's Oak.
We were very deeply saddened by this news. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family.


Friday, 20 February 2009

Charity's race to save mystery cat found in Weymouth

The mysterious French moggie found abandoned in Weymouth is now classed as an ‘illegal immigrant’ and has been placed in quarantine.

The cat has puzzled animal rescue workers since it was handed into Moorcroft Veterinary Surgery last week after it was found wandering around the Park District in Weymouth. No ownership details could be traced other than the fact that the stray ginger tomcat was micro-chipped in Nice, France, in 2002.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 20th February 2009

Family history courses in Dorchester

A range of family history courses are on offer in Dorchester for people inspired by the hit BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?

The courses are being held at the Adult Learning Centre in Prince of Wales Road, Dorchester, over the next few weeks.

They will include expert advice for beginners and intermediate researchers, plus tips on what to do with the information uncovered.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 20th February 2009

Big cat sighting

A puma has been sighted at Hewish, Bradford Abbas, confirming the big cat is indeed roaming across the Dorset countryside once more. The light coloured puma, now an adult, has the characteristics of the cub reported by a farmer at Newton, Sturminster Newton, which was spotted with its parents, a black male and a lighter female, shortly before the foot and mouth outbreak.

Judy Nash collated the many reports that followed the BVM story and entered them on the national databases. The following year the young adult was spotted again in the Yetminster area seeking out its own territory. However, after that time, sightings of big cats became fewer which was thought to be the result of a change in farming practices.

In 2008 many sightings were reported across a large area of the west with a cluster in Gloucestershire and more than 40 reports in Wales. The recent cold snap may have forced the animals further from cover in search of food and the first few weeks of 2009 led to a fresh spate of reports.

Big cats, mostly pumas, have been reported locally at Maiden Newton, Halstock, Sutton Bingham, Ryme Intrinseca, Yetminster, Thornford, Bradford Abbas, Trent and the Comptons over the last decade with other regular sightings at Wareham Forest, Bulbarrow, Broadwindsor, Bridport, Abbotsbury, Melplash and Weymouth.

Further information can be found and sightings recorded at www.bigcatsightings.com , www.bigcatmonitors.co.ul, www.bigcatsgb.co.uk and www.britishbigcats.org or forward information to judy@nashphotography.co.uk

Source: Western Gazette February 20th, 2009

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A Fascinating Talk - Big Cats Roaming Dorset!

Based on her top-selling books ’Roaring Dorset!’ & ’Mystery Big Cats’, author/cartoonist Merrily Harpur will talk about her 10 years’ research into the fascinating big cat phenomenon, and may surprise you with her findings. Roaring Dorset! contains 223 big cat sighting and more are pouring in. 800 copies have sold, illustrating the scope of interest.

Mrs Harper is giving a talk on Big Cats Roaming Dorset next month at Weymouth Library’s Mulberry Gallery at 10.30am - 12.30pm on Wednesday, February 25th 2009

Call 01305 762410 to reserve a place.

Venue: Weymouth Library, Great George Street, Weymouth, DT4 8NN

Nothe Fort test goes with a bang

Sleepyheads and seagulls were given a jolt when volunteers at the Nothe Fort tested their restored cannon.

A loud crack rang out over Weymouth Bay as the 200-year-old cannon which has just been given an overhaul was test fired. The bang was louder than normal because twice the amount of gunpowder was used to test it.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 17th February 2009

Return of the native as ladybird spider reappears in Dorset

One of Britain’s rarest spiders has crawled back from the brink of extinction through a programme of captive breeding and re- introduction, and preserving its heathland habitat in Dorset.

The UK ladybird spider, named because of the bright red and black markings on the male during the mating season, had seen numbers shrink to a few dozen individuals on a single site in the county.

The ladybird spider was originally thought to have been extinct in this country since 1906 but it was rediscovered on Dorset heathland in 1979.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 17th February 2009

Saturday, 14 February 2009

History of Dorset in pictures

Air raid posters, postcards, adverts, engravings and photographs are among hundreds of historic Dorset images now available to buy for the first time.

The Dorset History Centre, which was threatened amid cost-cutting last year, has opened up its archive and put copies of more than 300 unusual, attractive and striking documents for sale online.

Prints on offer cover a wide range of themes, including agriculture, maps, transport, churches and wartime – some dating back hundreds of years.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 14th February 2009

Friday, 13 February 2009

Cerne giant joins in red nose day fun

A distinctive Dorset figure has just been made more so to raise money for Red Nose Day.

Standing 180 feet tall, and with, erm... recognisable features, the Cerne Giant isn’t a figure who struggles to attract attention.

But the historic fertility symbol, marked in chalk on a hillside north of Dorchester, has donned a red nose to show his support for the Comic Relief charity.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Friday 13th February 2009

Britain's rarest spider saved from the brink of extinction

The tiny spider was once a common site on British heathland but by the early 90s there were hardly any of the insects left because of loss of habitat to development.

On the only remaining area where the species survived on a Dorset heathland there were thought to be just 56 spiders left.

Natural England, the Government agency in charge of conservation, took action by breeding the spiders in captivity and releasing them onto heathland around the south of the country , including Ministry of Defence land.

The latest count has revealed that the Ladybird spiders, so named for the male's red hot markings during the mating season, has soared twentyfold in just 15 years.

READ MORE - Source: The Telegraph 13th February 2009

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Remake on the way for Lyme Regis movie

The BBC this week confirmed it was in talks with a major Hollywood studio for a remake of The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

If given the go-ahead it will be the first time since the 1981 movie that John Fowles’s legendary novel – set in Lyme Regis – has been adapted for the screen.

News of a possible new version leaked after an MGM executive revealed at an industry conference that the two were in talks about a co-production.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 12th February 2009




Mystery of 'le chat'

This mystery moggie has a French connection that is puzzling cat rescue workers.

The stray ginger cat was found wandering around in a park near Cassiobury Road in Weymouth last Wednesday and handed into Moorcroft Veterinary Surgery.

It is believed he has been wandering the streets of the town for a couple of months.

When veterinary nurse Michelle Pavey scanned the mysterious cat she found a microchip that confirms the cat was registered in France.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 12th February 2009

Cerne Abbas Giant given red nose

A famous Dorset landmark has been given a Comic Relief makeover ahead of Red Nose Day 2009 on Friday.

The famous Cerne Abbas Giant was given its own red nose on Thursday morning to remind people of the bi-annual charity fundraising day and TV telethon.

The 180ft (54.8m) figure, which dates back to 1694, is believed to be a symbol of ancient fertility.

In September, volunteers spent one week re-chalking the giant, which became obscured by vegetation and moss.

Source: BBC NEWS Thursday, 12 February 2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Has author homed in on a martyr mystery?

An author researching the history of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, hailed as the fathers of the modern trade union movement, is claiming a major discovery.

Historians have struggled for decades to pinpoint where the Loveless family home was in the Purbeck village.

George Loveless is credited with leading the outlawed agricultural workers’ society in the 1830s.

But now Poole historian Dr Andrew Norman is convinced he knows the site of this early hotbed of union activity – and the cottage is still standing today.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 11th February 2009

Ancient tree stump turns up on Poole beach

A fossilised tree stump dumped on a Poole beach was growing at a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Now a three-ton lump of rock, the fossil dates from 140 million years ago and was transported to Branksome Chine with a consignment of Purbeck stone, destined to become part of one of the Borough of Poole’s new rock groynes.

Workmen spotted the unusual rock, which clearly shows the tree’s grain and put it to one side at the Dean and Dyball compound where the £1.9m coastal defence works project is underway.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 11th February 2009

Alchemist Evenings cancelled

We recently advertised the series of monthly Alchemist Evenings hosted by David Kingston and his wife Mary (see previous blog entry The Alchemist Evenings at Upwey Village Hall - 2009). We learnt from the CFZ blog yesterday the sad news that David Kingston is very ill. He released this following statement.

"It is with deep regrets that I have had to cancel Any lectures or talks in the Future. Due to the worst possible scenario the Cancer Specialist has given to me. "

"This is the worst email I have had to write, but trust that you will all understand, My web sites and email list will soon cease."


Our thoughts and prayers go to David and his family at this difficult time.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Mystery letter is delivered at last

A mystery letter that arrived 89 years after it was posted has been delivered to the daughter of its owner. (see previous blog entry Mystery letter turns up after 89 years )

Stella Pontin, 85, said she was delighted to receive the letter, which is addressed to her father Percival Bateman and dated November 29, 1919.

Guesthouse owner Jane Barrett could not believe her eyes when the old fashioned item, dropped through the letterbox at Basil Towers in Weymouth.

She appealed for its owner to come forward through the Dorset Echo and a surprised Mrs Pontin responded.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 10th February 2009

Big Cats are they prowling in Dorset?

Mark Burrows goes on the trail of the big cats of Dorset in this months Dorset Life magazine, full article by clicking the link below:
‘I am absolutely a hundred per cent sure that what I saw was a panther,’ insisted eyewitness Mark Dawson of the animal he spotted near Dorchester football club in August 2007. Like others who claim to have recently spotted a similar beast in the Dorchester vicinity, he was convinced it was not a dog. Other details, including the lengthy tail and the general posture, provide some substance to Mr Dawson’s perception.

Sightings of felid phantasms stalking Great Britain have surged since the mid 1970s. Dorset, if not as prolific as Devon and Cornwall, has had more than enough to attract the interest of committed trackers of Alien Big Cats, as they are often termed, including the police. According to their wildlife officer, PC John Snellin, ABC sightings in Dorset average around 30 per year.
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Life February 2009 Issue

Monday, 9 February 2009

A very civil war

Enthusiasts are plotting a second battle of Weymouth after an explosive Civil War Re-enactment.
The Chapelhay Community Partnership (CCP) staged a ‘living history’ day retracing the events of February 1645 when the town was the scene for a clash in the war.
Organisers have hailed the event – including soldiers firing muskets, wreath laying and a mock trial – as a fantastic success.
Now they aim to hold a similar event again in future to build on the success of the English Civil War Siege and Battle of Weymouth.
READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Monday 9th February 2009

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Spider bite puts Wareham woman in hospital

A spider fan says she will think twice about picking one up again after a bite left her in hospital.

Mandy Matzen, 46, was bitten by what is known as a false widow spider – or steatoda – which are similar in appearance to the highly poisonous black widow.

Mandy, who has a tarantula of her own, is warning people to be careful after she spent several hours in hospital.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 7th February 2009

Friday, 6 February 2009

5..4..3..2..1.. Thunderbirds a UFO!

UFO experts went into orbit yesterday over this amazing photo of a “Thunderbird” flying high above Bournemouth.

Excited alien-spotters hailed the picture, unwittingly taken by professional snapper Mark Wild, as one of the best they had ever seen.

The mystery craft — bright orange-red like Thunderbird 3 — was caught in a head-on shot on camera hovering above the resort on the Dorset coast.

But Mark, who was taking arty pictures of seafront buildings, did not even realise it was there until he got home and looked at his photos on his home computer.

Mark, 35, of Poole, said: “When I pulled the pictures up I noticed something there.

“When I enlarged it I saw what I can only describe as a UFO.

“I have shown it to quite a few friends and nobody has the faintest idea what it is.

“I’m pretty open-minded but to think I might have caught an actual UFO is amazing.”

Mark’s girlfriend Amanda Hickey, 37, who was with him at the time, said: “We were in real shock.

“It was as clear as day on the computer screen.”

The stunning snap emerged on the day The Sun revealed that a dossier made public by the Ministry of Defence showed UFO sightings doubled last year.

Last night flying saucer expert Nick Pope, an ex-MoD worker, said: “It is an amazing picture, one of the best I’ve seen in some time.

“Most pictures are taken at night and just show vague lights.

“With this you can clearly make out a structure to the thing and it is a classic UFO shape.”

Source: The Sun 6th February 2009

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Re-enactment of battle and siege of Weymouth

Soldiers will stage a Civil War re-enactment of the Siege and Battle of Weymouth. (See previous blog entry Commemoration Event of the Battle of Weymouth 1645 and the Crabchurch Conspiracy )

Up to 30 musketeers and pikemen will march to the site of the clash outside the Old Town Hall as part of a day of ‘living history’ activities.

The extravaganza will take place on Saturday to mark the Battle of Weymouth on February 27 in 1645.

Read more: Source. Dorset Echo Thursday 5th February 2009

The Wessex Astrum - Sacred Geometry in a Mystical Landscape.

Author, sacred sites guide and dowser Peter gives a PowerPoint presentation to tell of his groundbreaking discovery of The Wessex Astrum, the huge landscape hexagram that incredibly links together Avebury, Stonehenge, Glastonbury, the St Michael Line and the Preseli Mountains! He will describe how the main sacred sites at these places are all situated on the leys of the hexagram as the lines converge of them. Many new megaliths were discovered, as well as sacred springs, abbey sites, Knights Templar places, hermite caves, and many other new discoveries described in the groundbreaking book by Peter and Toni Perrott, The Wessex Astrum - Sacred Geometry in a Mystical Landscape. The book is sending ripples around the earth mysteries world, and the British Society of Dowsers described it as, "... an absolute must for all dowsers". Peter will do a booksigning of all his books afterwards.

Tonight at 7.30pm at Stapehill Village Hall, Stapehill, between Ferndown and Wimborne. Look for the sign and small driveway opposite Stapehill Post Office. Directions: on www.dorsetmysteries.org

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Pot luck reveals ancient Egyptian jar in Dorset

A garden ornament which had been sitting on a patio for 20 years has turned out to be a rare 3,000-year-old ancient Egyptian jar.

The 13-inch high vessel was made during the time of the pharaohs to hold the organs of the dead ready for the afterlife.

With a distinctive top in the style of a face and easily recognisable headdress, the Canopic funerary jar had blended into its surroundings in a Dorset garden for two decades.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 3rd February 2009

Turtle recall brings baby boom to Weymouth SeaLife

Weymouth SeaLife Park has seen an instant baby boom in turtles – after snapping up more than 200 of them that arrived illegally at Heathrow Airport.

The Mississippi Map turtles – each the size of a 50 pence piece – were seized by customs officials after they were flown in from the US.

They were destined for the British pet trade but the importers didn’t have the correct paperwork and so they were seized.

The baby reptiles – worth a total of £2,000 – have been handed over to the SeaLife centres in Weymouth, and Scarborough.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 3rd February 2009

Continued snowfall hits Dorset

Snowfall and freezing temperatures caused havoc across the county yesterday with a dramatic rise in road accidents and the closures of schools, libraries, day care services and adult learning classes.

And the forecast is for more snow in the coming days.


READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 3rd February 2009

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Wild boar triplets born at park

A wildlife trust which is celebrating the birth of three wild boar piglets has said the species should be left to regain its natural place in the wild.

The triplets, born to Harriet and her mate Boris at Wildwood Discovery Park near Canterbury, Kent have been taking their first steps in the open.

Wild boar died out in the UK 300 years ago but in recent years small breeding populations have become re-established.

Three groups are living in Kent and Sussex, the Forest of Dean and Dorset.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News Sunday, 1 February 2009

Commemoration Event of the Battle of Weymouth 1645 and the Crabchurch Conspiracy

On the 7th February 2009, a march will take place by the English Civil War Society in full 17th century dress to commemorate the Battle of Weymouth of 1645 and the Crabchurch Conspiracy.

The march will start from Sandsfoot Castle at 12.00pm, the route taking Old Castle Road then to Boot Hill and end at the Old Town Hall in High West Street where a wreath will be laid to honour the 500+ souls who perished here during the month of February 1645 and also those executed a few days after upon the scaffold of the Nothe for their part in the Crabchurch Conspiracy which led to the siege and battle. A volley of muskets will be fired.



Video above, last year on 24th February 2008, members of the Chapelhay Community Partnership as well as re-enactors of Col. William Sydenham's Regiment of Foote held an event at Chapelhay Gardens to commemorate this dark time in Weymouth's History.

The march will then continue through the line of the old High Street and on to the Town Bridge where musketeers will drag/parade the four Royalist prisoners through the town to ferry steps where a boat will carry them across to the Nothe steps.

The main body will by then have marched along the quayside to the Old Rooms where another wreath will be laid and a volley of muskets fired for the 250 Irishmen who perished there. They will then continue to meet the boat and prisoners and then up on to the Nothe where a trial and execution will take place.

This should be completed by around 2.30pm and there will be a living history encampment on the Nothe until dusk.

In the evening Dorset band Who's Afear'd, will be performing at the Old Rooms Inn, Cove Row at 8.30pm

Many of the English Civil War Society will remain overnight in Weymouth and a trip on the Sunday morning to the home of the Sydenham family at Wynford Eagle where it is believed, at least four of the bodies of the family still lie in a field in the ruins of the early medieval church will end in another wreath laying.

Source: www.weymouth-dorset.co.uk
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