In 1824 a tidal wave enveloped the village but even that paled into insignificance beside the flood of 1886.

Christmas day, 1886 was the start of what was to become known as The Great Flood it began to rain and rain. The bitterly cold wind blew to hurricane force. The rain turned to snow and blizzards formed huge drifts all along the Bride Valley - altogether 4.2 inches of rain fell that day. By the evening 47 houses were flooded up to their ceilings and the main bridge was swept away. The Symes family were trapped in their home for ten hours - despite a dramatic attempt by seven men who battled their way to the beach to get a boat.

One of those men was himself swept away. He was eventually rescued clinging to a tree. The rescue of the hapless Symes family had to wait until daylight and receding waters.

Over the years the village has suffered a number of floods- but the worst in living memory being in 1916. One villager even caught a trout in Mill Street on that occasion.

(This extract was taken from The Dorset Evening Echo November 6th 1987 Country Life- A portrait of a Village by Rene Gerryts.)

See more on floods & snowdrifts in Village Society collection

Floods -7 July 2012 - film by Ken Pett


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