Milton Abbas Local History Group submit a report on their recent meeting.
We particularly enjoyed this meeting with a record attendance of 35 and lots of good ideas from members. Some visitors had come specifically to hear Martin Foers talk on the Damer Dynasty. This presentation was packed with information including the origins of the family’s wealth following Cromwell’s Irish war of 1649, and of course their family seat at Winterborne Came, Dorset. It was only due to Joseph, Lord Milton’s vision and immense effort that we are blessed with the current village, Abbey and Capability Brown landscape. The presentation was supported by a display of the family tree which attracted much attention, and you are all welcome to come along next month to hear part 2.
One of our members has been transcribing the churchwardens’ accounts from the 17th Century and new information has been coming to light. We have learned that troops were billeted here during the Civil War and payments made to soldiers. One puzzling entry is “paide Gayle money for the whole year, £1 6s”, this possibly refers to Gaol, but we cannot be sure. It is certainly not to a person called Gayle. Any ideas would be welcome! There is clear evidence too in the church inventories of the changes caused by Puritan legislation.
Also of great interest is evidence that the new town may have been built rather later than we had thought. We have transcribed two leases for newly built property in 1780 and 1787. These leases contain sufficient detail for us to locate these buildings today. Again Joseph Lord Milton stipulated that the lessee “shall not nor will keep or permit or suffer to be kept any Inn Tavern Alehouse Victualling house or place of publick entertainment in or upon the premises”.
We have arranged a forthcoming guided tour of Cerne Abbas, and a visit to the Dorset County Museum store.
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