Friday, 13 March 2009

Tyneham and the Dorset coast

Last weekend we walked along the ridge above the now deserted village of Tyneham, a chilly and windy day but thankfully dry. From the ridge looking East the view is amazing, the patchwork of fields surrounded by ribbons of hedge and trees. The trees maybe started off as a hedge but have been left to grow.
In the distance the headland going out to sea is St Aldhelms Head and the brown topped hill on the left is Swyre Head.

If you click on this picture you can see the ruins of some homes in the village of Tyneham. The residents left in December 1943 so that the military could use the area to practise in, with the promise that the villagers could return to their homes after the war. Well, that never happened and the villagers were never allowed back to their homes. On the positive side the area has been preserved and it is a wildlife haven. I'm sure if the village were still lived in it would have been taken over by holiday homes and second home owners...so maybe the Army has done it a favour although not for the people who have memories of it.
I have just read a book called 'Tyneham - The Lost Village of Dorset' by Andrew Norman and Mary Hurst, it recalls the memories of Helen Taylor who grew up in Tyneham and is a fascinating account of life in the early part of the last century when her Mother, Emily was Laundress for the big house and the rectory, and Helen's life as she grew up in Laundry cottage.

1 comment:

Bovey Belle said...

Ah Tyneham, one of my favourite places in Dorset. What a lovely walk you had - wish I could be there today.