St Mary, Puddletown, Dorset

Puddletown in Dorset derives its name from the nearby River Piddle. It was apparently, originally called Piddletown but that name fell out of favour with the name finally changing officially in the 1950s.

St Mary’s church was built in the 12th century with additions and changes from the 13th to the 16th century. It is notable for a 12th century bucket font with diaper patterning. There are also a couple of wall paintings dating to the 17th century.

The south chapel  of the church hold effigies of Martyn family of the nearby Athelhampton House. It is on these effigies that most of the graffiti inside the church lies. It is almost entirely made up of names and initials, with two unusual combinations of a Marian mark M next to a normal M. It appears that any flat surface on the effigies, whether from design or damage, have been subject to cross hatching. The few dates in the graffiti are from the 19th century.

The north porch has a few pieces of initials graffiti.

Report by Anthea Hawdon
The Square,
The church is normally open during daylight hours.


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