“Notes on the village of Burton Bradstock and Roman pavements discovered in Dorset were the subjects of papers read at a meeting of Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society held at the County Museum, Dorchester, yesterday.

In the paper on Burton Bradstock, it was shown that the living and dues of Burton Bradstock church were given by William the Conqueror to the Abbey of St. Wendrille in Normandy.

Notes on Burton Bradstock were read by Mr. M.H.Ouseley, M.A., and his address was illustrated by an excellent series of photographs from his collection, some of which were shown on the screen by means of the epidiascope. He first of all spoke of the beautiful situation and surroundings of the village, and showed by means of photographs how very little it had changed in the past 30 or 40 years. He recalled that William the Conqueror had given the rectory of Burton Bradstock, with its dues, and three other churches to the Abbey of St. Wendrille in Normandy, for his soul’s welfare, and that of his wife and family.


On this point, he said, Hutchins had erred , for he stated that only the rectory, without the dues, was given. Burton was a royal manor at this time and was listed with Bridport and Whitchurch Canonicorum.

Mr. Ouseley spoke of a visit to Normandy, where he went to the Abbey of St. Wendrille and endeavoured to trace the connection with the Abbey and Burton Bradstock church. He said he had tried to make the abbot interested in the subject, but had not met with a great deal of success. The monks there did not confine their activities to intellectual matters, but among other things they made shoe and furniture polish, kept bees and went in for building. The abbey had a very chequered history from its establishment in 649 to its re-establishment in 1990.

Photographs were shown of some of the present-day activities of Burton Bradstock, fishermen counting and cleaning fish, a woman braiding nets, a hedger, re-cutting mill stones, shingle carting and quarrying. It seemed on comparison that there was little change in the type of village occupations.

Colonel Drew commented on the splendid pictorial record which Mr. Ouseley had collected, and said he did not think there was such a complete collection of photographs dealing with any other village in the county.

Mr. V.L. Oliver, who presided, thanked Mr. Ouseley for his paper, and also commented on the excellent photographs. He recalled that the society were responsible for a photographic survey of the parishes.”