© Bere Regis Village  2003  -  2017

History of Bere Regis

Industries from 1335 onwards

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From   earliest   times   agriculture   has   been   the   principal   industry   of   this   parish,   together   with   the   associated   rural   crafts   such   as   carpentry, thatching,   milling   and   blacksmithing. Apart   from   the   open   common   fields   to   the   north   of   the   village,   the   downland   was not   generally   used   except   in   later   years   for   sheep,   and   before   the   19th   century   farming   was   confined   almost   entirely to   the   more   fertile   alluvial   valley   areas.   The   old   established   farms   are   therefore   to   be   found   along   the   valleys   of   the Bere   stream   and   river   Piddle,   and   they   bear   highly   individual   names,   such   as   Roke,   Shitterton,   Court,   Doddings   and Philliols.   Subsequently   farms   such   as   Bere   Down   and   Muddox   Barrow   (Skippits)   have   become   established   on downland,   whilst   larger   areas   of   heathland   have   been   brought   under   cultivation   in   order   to   extend   old   farms   or   to establish new ones such as Lower Woodbury farm. In   the   following   accounts   of   old   farms,   they   are   dealt   with   in   the   order   in   which   they   occur   along   the   river   valleys,   working   in   a   downstream direction: Roke   Farm.    Formerly   spelled   'Roak',   this   seems   originally   to   have   been   a   separate   manor   in   its   own   right,   but   by   the   reign   of   Edward   IV   (1461- 83)   it   belonged   to   the Turbervilles,   and   then   no   doubt   became   part   of   the   Bere   manor.   Most   of   the   farm   buildings   were rebuilt   at   the   close   of   the   19th   century,   but   the   formerly   thatched   farmhouse   and   barn   date   from   the   18th   century. The original   farm   was   probably   confined   to   the   low   lying   meadow   land   only,   but   by   the   18th   century   it   had   been   extended to include most of Roke Down. Shitterton   Farm.    Shitterton   has   always   been   under   separate   ownership   from   the   Bere   manor,   and   was   formerly   regarded   as   a   manor   in   its   own right.   The   name   has   been   variously   spelled   Chitterton,   Shitterton   or   Sitterton,   and   at   one   time   during   the   17th   century   was known   as   Whitelovington   according   to   the   old   churchwardens   accounts.   In   the   15th   century   it   had   been   held   by   Richard Cerne   who   died   in   1431   and   by   John   Herring   who   died   in   1456,   but   by   1591   it   had   come   into   the   hands   of   the   Morton family   of   Milborne   (Cardinal   Morton's   family)   whose   descendants,   including   the   Morton   Pleydells,   continued   to   own   it   until the   property   became   part   of   the   Bladen   estate   early   in   this   century.   The   Argentons,   and   later   a   branch   of   the   Williams family   of   Herringston   were   lessees   of   the   manor   and   farm   in   the   17th   and   18th   centuries,   but   they   resided   in   Shitterton House   which   was   described   in   1861   as   having   been   "lately   taken   down".   The   farm   was   run   as   a   separate   entity   until   1968 when   it   was   annexed   to   Briantspuddle   farm   and   the   fine   early   18th   century   thatched   farmhouse   (click   the   photo   below) became a separate dwelling. Southbrook.   Although   not   now   a   separate   farm,   Southbrook   was   formerly   regarded   as   a   `hamlet',   and   the   late   18th   century   thatched   barn which   survived   until   recent   years   suggests   the   former   existence   of   a   farm.   During   the   reign   of   Edward   1   (1272-1307) Southbrook   was   held   by   the   Boys   or   de   Bosco   family,   and   in   the   14th   century   the   Shanke   family   appear   to   have succeeded them. Court   Farm.    This   had   always   been   the   capital   farm   attached   to   the   manor   and   its   name   is   derived   from   the   days   when   the manor itself belonged directly to the king. Doddings   Farm.    Formerly   called   Doddingsbere,   the   name   is   thought   to   be   of   Saxon   origin.   It   does   not   appear   to   have   formed part   of   the   manor   at   the   time   of   the   Domesday   survey   (1086),   and   the   de   Bosco   family   held   it   in   the   late   13th   century.   A   family named   de   Whitfield   held   it   in   the   early   part   of   the   14th   century,   and   Eubolo   de   Strange   had   owned   it   before   his   death   in   1335,   but soon   afterwards   it   came   to   the   Turberville   family.   It   was   then   presumably   added   to   the   main   manor,   but   in   later   times   at   least   a part of Doddings formed part of the estates of the Morton family of Milborne. Philliols   Farm   derives   its   name   from   having   belonged   in   early   times   to   the   Filiol   family.   By   the   17th   century   it   was   owned   by   a   family   named Turner   who   seem   to   have   become   related   by   marriage   to   the   Ekins   family   who   in   about   1690   inherited   it.   It   then   remained   in   the   hands   of   that family   until   at   least   the   beginning   of   the   19th   century,   when   after   one   or   two   changes   of   hand   by   sale   it   was   finally   bought   by   Mr.   J.   S.   W.   S.   E. Drax   and   hence   became   part   of   the   main   estate.   The   farm   buildings   were   rebuilt   by   the   Ekins   family   in   1748,   as   that   date   appears   in   the   west gable of the barn. Chamberlaynes   Farm   i tself   is   first   referred   to   in   the   old   churchwardens   accounts   in   1630,   but   Chamberlaynes   Mill   is   probably   older,   having   at one   time   belonged   to   Bindon Abbey,   and   the   mill   existed   at   least   before   1541,   wnen   the   property   comprised   one   mill,   60   acres   (24   hectares)   of land,   16   acres   (6.4   hectares)   of   meadow   and   200   acres   (80   hectares)   of   heath   and   furze.   The   Mortons   of   Milborne   became   lessees   under Bindon Abbey,   and   no   doubt   acquired   the   mill   and   farm   after   the   dissolution,   for   it   eventually   came   to   their   descendants   the   Morton   Pleydells.   In 1653 the rents were valued at £3.34 per annum. Culeaze   Farm   is   referred   to   in   the   old   churchwardens   accounts   as   early   as   1628   when   it   belonged   to   the   Loupe   family.   Before   1642   the   name is   spelt   Culease,   but   after   that   date   it   seems   always   to   have   been   spelt   Cowlease   which   explains   its   derivation.   In   1861   it   formed   part   of property invested in charity trustees by the Framptons of Morton. Stockley   Farms,   higher   and   lower,   appear   always   to   have   been   two   separate   farms,   one   having   belonged   to   the   Turbervilles   at   least   before 1400,   and   the   other   to   Tarrant Abbey,   although   the   Turbervilles   acquired   it   also   after   the   dissolution.   John   Filiol   who   died   in   1403   seems   also   to have   held   land   at   Stockley,   but   possibly   as   a   lessee.   Both   farms   passed   to   the   Drax   family   with   the   remainder   of   the   manor   in   the   18th   century. From   1614   to   1657   the   term   Stockley   was   given   to   a   large   district   for   the   purpose   of   church   rate   assessment,   and   included   the   whole   of   the Bere Heath area as well as Chamberlaynes and Doddings. Hyde.   The   name   is   probably   derived   from   the   word   'hide'   meaning   a   farming   unit,   a   term   in   use   at   the   time   of   the   Domesday   survey   (1086)   and before,   as   an   approximate   measure   of   land   area.   Hyde   has   always   been   a   separate   manor   or   estate   which   in   early   times   belonged   to   Tarrant Abbey,   and   in   1293   the   annual   income   in   rents   from   it   amounted   to   £2.75.   In   1534,   shortly   before   the   dissolution   of   the   abbey   the   annual income had risen to £4.40:- Hyde worth per annum, in uncertain rents: Of Wheat, one quarter ..................................................... 5s. 4d. Of Barley, five quarters .................................................. 13s. 4d. Of Oats, four quarters ...................................................... 5s. 4d. In uncertain rents: Of four oxen ................................ £1 12s. Od. Of four cows ...............................................................£1 12s. Od. Total...........................................................................£4 8s. Od. After   the   dissolution   of   the   abbey   Hyde   manor   was   granted   to Thomas Trenchard,   but   between   1603   and   1625   it   was   purchased   by   John   Ryves whose   family   held   it   at   least   until   1725. The   estate   was   valued   at   £100   per   annum   in   1641. The   Hyde   branch   of   the   Ryves   family   appear   to   have died   out   at   some   time   in   the   18th   century,   and   the   manor   was   purchased   by   William   Gaisford   Peach   who   in   1837   re-sold   it   to   Charles   James Radclyffe whose family retained it until well into this century. Buddens   Farm   is   the   last   downstream   valley   farm   in   the   parish.   It   does   not   appear   to   be   referred   to   in   any   early   deeds   or   documents   but   an   old cottage   and   barn   date   from   the   18th   century. The   farm   probably   owes   its   origin   to   Luke   Budden,   or   farmer   Budden   as   he   was   sometimes   called, in   about   1730.   From   1701   to   1717   a   widow   Budden   occurs   in   the   church   rate   assessments   holding   a   property   called   Hernsmead   or   Hernes meadow   with   a   rateable   value   of   2d.   and   her   son   Luke   appears   to   have   inherited   this   property   at   the   same   rate   in   both   1723   and   1725.   By   1735 however   Luke   Budden's   rateable   value   had   risen   to   2s.   2d.   and   indicates   the   acquisition   of   a   farm   approaching   the   size   of   Philliols   which   was then   rated   at   2s.   lOd.   in   1731   "farmer   Budden"   received   a   payment   for   vermin   heads   from   the   churchwarden   responsible   for   the   heath   district, denoting that he had by that time acquired the status of a farmer, and was living in that part of the parish. An   interesting   glimpse   into   the   state   of   farming   in   the   parish   is   afforded   as   a   result   of   the   Napoleonic   wars   (1795-1815)   when   Napoleon Bonaparte   had   overrun   most   of   Europe   and   invasion   of   England   seemed   to   be   imminent.   Among   other   preparations   for   a   possible   invasion, arrangements   were   made   for   the   evacuation   of   livestock   from   an   approximately   ten   miles   wide   coastal   strip,   and   for   them   to   be   driven   to   certain prearranged points further inland. Accordingly,   in   1796   farmers   in   this   coastal   strip   were   required   to   furnish   information   relating   to   the   number   of   live-stock   to   be   moved   and   the men   they   had   available   to   assist.   They   were   also   required   to   state   the   acreages   of   their   various   crops.   The   southern   part   of   this   parish   came within   the   coastal   strip   and   8   farmers   in   the   Hyde   and   Bere   Heath   area   gave   statistics.   The   farms   concerned   were   an   average   of   9   1/4   miles from   the   sea   and   5   miles   from   "the   place   fixed   for   driving   the   stock."   There   were   8   "servants   that   can   be   mounted   on   horse-back   to   assist   in driving   stock,"   and   13   "servants   on   foot   that   can   be   furnished   with   Pick-axes,   Shovels   etc."   Between   them   they   had   40   horses,   172   cows   and 538 sheep, and the collective acreages of their crops were: wheat ............................ 7712- acres (31 hectares) barley ........................... 143 acres (57.2 hectares) oats .............................. 43 acres (17.2 hectares) peas ............................. 5 acres (2 hectares) hay .............................. 279 acres (111.6 hectares) Six   farmers   from   another   part   of   the   parish   also   gave   statistics   and   were   an   average   of   10   miles   from   the   sea   and   5   1/4   miles   from   where   the stock   was   to   be   driven,   and   six   mounted   men   were   available.   Their   stock   consisted   of   39   horses,   114   cows,   1740   sheep,   and   the   collective acreages of their crops were: wheat ............................ 154 acres (61.6 hectares) barley ............................ 298 acres (119.2 hectares) oats .............................. 102 acres ( 40.8 hectares) peas .............................. 11 acres ( 4.4 hectares) hay ............................... 175 acres ( 70 hectares) Fortunately   none   of   these   measures   needed   to   be   put   into   effect   as   the   invasion   did   not   materialise,   but   the   threat   prompted   some   interesting agricultural   statistics   which   would   not   otherwise   have   been   known.   Another   preparation   for   this   threatened   invasion   took   the   form   of   the establishment   of   a   kind   of   "early   warning   system"   of   chains   of   beacons   stretching   from   the   south   coast   to   London.   They   were   prepared   for lighting at short notice and were so placed on suitable hill sites that each could be seen from its neighbour. Upon   the   enemy   fleet   being   sighted   in   the   channel,   a   beacon   on   the   coast   would   have   been   lighted,   seen   by   the   watchers   at   the   next   one inland,   which   in   its   turn   would   have   been   lighted,   and   so   on   until   the   news   reached   London   more   rapidly   than   by   any   other   method   available   at the time. There were 31 of such beacons in Dorset, one of which was on Woodbury Hill. Agricultural   labourers   had   always   been   poorly   paid   and   in   such   a   rural   area   this   was   inevitably   reflected   in   the   economic   situation   of   the   parish as   a   whole,   but   this   was   alleviated   to   some   extent   due   to   the   existence   of   the   open   common   fields   in   which   the   villagers   could   go   some   way towards   supplementing   their   meagre   incomes.   By   the   end   of   the   18th   century   the   industrial   revolution   was   beginning   to   have   an   adverse   effect on   rural   areas   and   agricultural   wages   were   approaching   their   lowest   point.   This   situation   was   aggravated   by   the   breakdown   of   the   manorial system   which   had   lasted   for   centuries,   the   amalgamation   of   farms   to   form   larger   units,   and   the   gradual   but   inevitable   enclosure   of   the   open common   fields.   In   addition   the   Napoleonic   Wars   caused   further   agricultural   depression,   and   matters   came   to   a   head   in   November   and December   1830   when   bands   of   farm   labourers   attacked   the   houses   of   those   they   considered   in   some   way   responsible   for   their   situation,   set   fire to   ricks,   and   destroyed   threshing   machines-a   new   innovation   which   they   considered   to   be   one   particular   cause   of   their   plight.   It   was   only   some four   years   later   that   the   men   of   Tolpuddle   reacted   in   a   much   more   peaceable   way   and   yet   achieved   so   much   more   in   the   long   run,   in   spite   of their   severe   punishment.   The   rioters   were   particularly   active   in   this   area,   and   as   a   result   71   prisoners   were   tried   at   a   special   assize   at Dorchester   in   January   1831.   The   following   extract   is   part   of   a   letter   from   Mr.   C.   B.   Wollaston,   chairman   of   the   appeal   court,   to   Mr.   Okeden   who presided at the criminal court: Dorchester, Friday I   have   now   scarcely   time   to   tell   you   that   I   arrived   on   Friday   into   this   disturbed   county   and   almost   immediately   set   off   for   Morton   Hall,   where Frampton   was   protecting   his   house   against   an   intended   attack   from   the   inhabitants   of   Beer,   of   which   he   had   had   information   -   they   having   been exasperated   against   him   personally,   by   his   having   gone   there   for   the   purpose   of   swearing   in   special   constables   and   taking   other   means   of protection-in opposition. I think they were encouraged by the defiant conduct of Mr. Drax, of which you will hear more. The matter was also referred to in the diary of Mary Frampton of Moreton, whose brother is mentioned in the above extract: On   Nov.   22,   1830   the   first   risings   took   place   in   this   county.   Mr.   Portman   immediately   promised   to   raise   the   wages   of   his   labourers,   and   by   doing this   without   concert   with   other   gentlemen,   greatly   increased   their   difficulties.   My   brother   Frampton   harangued   the   people   at   Bere   Regis   and argued   with   them   on   the   impropriety   of   their   conduct,   refusing   to   concede   to   their   demands   whilst   asked   with   menaces.   This   spirited   conduct caused him to be very unpopular, and threats were issued against him and his house. By   1841,   according   to   the   census   returns   for   that   year,   when   the   total   population   of   the   parish   had   risen   to   1,394, there   were   20   farmers   in   the   parish   employing   between   them   161   agricultural   labourers,   but   by   1851   when   the population   had   increased   to   1494,   there   were   30   farmers   and   186   agricultural   labourers   in   addition   to   29   plough- boys. Making   flour   was   naturally   closely   allied   to   farming,   and   it   is   not   surprising   that   a   parish   with   two   rivers   or   streams should   have   been   liberally   supplied   with   watermills.   Most   of   them   continued   to   function   as   such   until   the   beginning   of   this   century,   but   fell   into disuse   when   it   became   more   economic   to   centralise   milling   at   larger   plants.   Even   so   many   of   the   old   mill   buildings   survive   in   a   readily recognisable form, and in some cases even some of the machinery remains. A   watermill   existed   at   Doddings   as   long   ago   as   1086   when   it   is   referred   to   in   the   Domesday   survey   of   that   year,   and   doubtless   there   were others in the parish at that time, but as the manor was royal demesne no details are given. At   Hyde   and   Roke   farms   two   identical   water   wheels   still   exist   and   are   interesting   for   being   made   principally   of   iron. Although   the   spokes   are   of wood   the   water   vanes,   rims   and   other   portions   are   of   iron,   the   driving   cogs   being   situated   on   the   insides   of   the rims,   and   at   Roke   much   of   the   driving   shaft   and   mechanism   also   survives   in   good   condition.   Both   of   the   wheels were   made   by   Lott   and   Walne   of   Dorchester   and   must   have   been   among   the   last   to   be   manufactured   in   Dorset. West   Mill   at   the   west   end   of   the   village,   although   formerly   used   for   grinding   corn,   appears   to   have   been   used   as   a saw-mill in its latter years, according to the 1902 ordnance map. There   was   another   mill   at   Southbrook   situated   at   Elders   Mead,   now   occupied   by   Manor   Cottages,   the   watercress   beds   west   of   the   road   and part   of   the   existing   field   south   west   of   the   church.   In   1777,   according   to   Isaac Taylor's   map,   the   tenant   of   this   mill   was   R.   Shave.   Chamberlaynes Mill was established at least before 1541, and the later mill building and mill stream still exist. In   days   when   hay   and   corn   ricks   were   invariably   thatched   and   when   almost   every   cottage   in   the   village   was   roofed   with   thatch,   the   demand   for thatchers   must   have   been   high,   and   yet   surprisingly   there   were   only   7   thatchers   in   the   parish   in   1841,   and   even   this   number   had   dropped   to   5 by   1851.   On   the   other   hand   woodmen,   engaged   presumably   in   making   thatching   spars,   hurdles,   faggots   and   other   such   items   had   increased   in numbers from 10 in 1841 to no less than 34 in 1851. Many   farmers   seem   to   have   used   carpentry   as   a   stand-by   trade   at   times   of   agricultural   depression,   and   their   probably   rougher   quality   work   was perhaps   responsible   for   the   origin   of   the   derogatory   term   'hedge-carpentry.'   It   is,   therefore,   significant   that   as   the   number   of   farmers   increased from   20   in   1841   to   30   in   1851,   the   number   of   carpenters   dropped   during   the   same   period   from   18   to   12.   Carpenters   seem   always   to   have   been in   demand   in   a   village   of   this   size   and   many   are   referred   to   in   the   old   churchwardens   accounts   in   connection   with   repairs   to   the   church,   seats and   bell   frame   etc.;   and   one   family   named   Gould   produced   successive   generations   of   carpenters   during   the   17th,   18th   and   19th   centuries, concerned very largely with the provision and maintenance of permanent fair buildings on Woodbury Hill. During   the   19th   century   the   number   of   carpenters   running   their   own   businesses   varied   from   3   in   1830   to   7   in   1875,   some   of   them   employing several   men.   Henry   Galton,   described   as   a   cabinet   maker   in   1830,   had   added   a   second   string   to   his   bow   by   1842   when   he   was   described   as   a "cabinet   maker   &   beer   retailer".   He   seems   to   have   died   between   1853   and   1859   for   he   does   not   appear   in   the   directory   for   the   latter   year,   but "Henry   Galton,   carpenter,"   presumably   his   son   and   namesake,   reappears   in   the   1865   directory.   By   1875   he   had   become   "Henry   Clarke   Galton, carpenter,   assistant   overseer   &   collector   of   taxes,"   and   by   1880   he   was   offering   some   of   his   products   to   a   wider   market   -"Henry   Clarke   Galton, builder,   cabinet   maker   &   maker   of   the   improved   `Guest'   table.   See   advertisement".   The   advertisement   in   the   directory,   which   covered   Dorset   as a whole, shows a three legged circular stool-like table and the legend: The   improved   "Guest"   table,   (registered   design).   These   tables   are   made   in   Polished   Oak   and   Ebonized   mounted   with   Blue   and   White   China   of the   choicest   patterns   (5   of   which   have   been   supplied   to   HRH   the   Prince   of   Wales).   Packed   and   put   on   Rail   at   25s.   (£1.25)   each.   Sole Manufacturer H. C. Galton, Bere Regis, Blandford, Dorset. Button   making   was   an   industry   which   flourished   in   Bere   Regis   during   the   first   half   of   the   19th   century.   Clothwork   hand   embroidered   buttons   on   a horn   disc   base   were   first   manufactured   in   Dorset   at   Shaftesbury   by Abraham   Case   at   the   beginning   of   the   18th   century,   and   later   his   grandson, carrying   on   the   family   business,   evolved   a   wire   framework   to   replace   the   old   horn   base.   Another   member   of   the   same   family   established   the business   in   Bere   Regis   about   the   middle   of   the   18th   century,   and   this   was   carried   on   by   successive   members   of   the   Case   family   until   the   middle of the 19th century when machine made buttons began to replace the hand made version. The   central   depot   for   the   button   trade   in   this   area   was   at   Milborne   St. Andrew,   and   the   square   there   on   a   friday   was   said   to   have   been   thronged with   people   from   the   surrounding   countryside   bringing   in   their   week's   work   and   collecting   their   payment.   The   buttons   were   made   almost exclusively   by   women   and   girls   in   their   own   homes,   and   so   seriously   was   the   industry   taken   that   in   Bere   Regis   in   1851   there   were   said   to   be several   schools   which   specialised   in   teaching   button   making.   In   1.841   there   were   11   button   makers   in   the   parish,   but   this   number   had   increased to   69   by   1851   and   marked   the   climax   of   the   trade,   as   numbers   had   decreased   to   12   by   1861   when   button   making   seems   to   have   largely   given way to cotton glove making. Where   the   Bagshot   beds   thin   out   and   terminate   over   the   chalk,   suitable   brick   clay   is   found   in   the   parish   and   brick works   became   established   at   Brick   Hill   near   Doddings   and   at   Black   Hill.   The   Brick   Hill   works,   where   the   old   Kiln still   exists,   was   the   older   of   the   two,   probably   established   at   some   time   during   the   18th   century,   and   continued   to function   at   least   until   1911.   The   Black   Hill   works   were   probably   established   during   the   19th   century,   and   its   kiln, drying   platform   with   factory-like   brick   chimney,   and   even   the   railway   lines   and   trucks   remained   on   the   site   until   the Second World War. Click the photo below to see the Brick Hill works in around 1885 - There   were   a   number   of   other   small   trades   carried   on   in   Bere   Regis   during   the   19th   century,   details   of   which   may   be   obtained   from   the   census returns   of   1841,   1851   and   1861   and   the   various   trade   directories   already   referred   to,   which   appeared   at   approximately   5   yearly   intervals   from 1830   onwards. The   following   list   of   the   numbers   of   people   engaged   in   the   various   occupations,   trades   and   professions   is   for   1851,   a   year   which is fully covered by both a comprehensive directory and census returns. The occupations are in alphabetical order: agricultural labourers ......... 186 laundresses ............... 10 baker ........................... 1 lime burner .................. 1 barrister (a visitor) ............ 1 maltster ..................... 1 basket maker ..................... 1 masons ..................... 6 blacksmiths .................. 9 millers ..........,.......... 8 brewer ........................... 1 milliners .................. 2 bricklayers ..................... 13 nurses ......,.,..........., 3 brick makers ..................... 4 ostlers (and grooms) ...... 3 builders ........................ 2 physicians .........,..,..... 2 butter factor ..................... 1 ploughboys .„.........„, 29 butcher ...,.................... 1 plumber ..................... 1 button makers .................. 69 postmistress ....„......... 1 carpenters ..................... 12 relieving officer .........,.. 1 carriers ........................ 2 road labourer .........,..,., 1 charwoman ..................... 1 road surveyor ..,.,..,......, 1 coachman ..................... 1 saddlers ...........„........ 3 confectioner .....„.......„.. 1 sawyers .....,.....,.....,.., 2 cooks ........................... 2 scholars .....,.....,.....,., 110 coopers ........................ 4 schoolteachers ,..,...,..., 4 dairymen ........................ 3 servants .....,......,.„„„, 31 draper .....................,..... 1 shepherds ....... 6 dressmakers ........,......... 15 shoemakers .........,...., 15 farmers ........................ 30 shopkeepers „........,.„, 3 footmen ........................ 3 tailors ............,.„„„, 7 gamekeepers .................. 3 tallowchandler .,.......„, 1 grocers ........................ 6 thatchers ...„...,...„„„ 5 independent minister ......... 1 tinker ...,.....,.....„„„„, 1 inland revenue officer ....„... 1 tinsmith ....,..„..,.„„„„ 1 innkeepers ..................„, 4 toll gate keepers ............ 2 ironmonger .................. 1 vicar .........,.,.„„„„„, 1 joiners (and cabinet makers) 3 wagoners ...........,..„„ 7 knitter ...................,....... 1 woodmen .................. 34 The   trade   directory   for   1851   gives   the   number   of   milliners   as   7   against   the   2   recorded   in   the   census   returns,   but   as   they   are   all   described   as "milliner   &   c"   in   the   directory   they   may   have   been   dressmakers   as   well   and   included   in   that   category   for   the   purpose   of   the   census.   In   fact   it   was by   no   means   unusual   during   the   19th   century   for   a   person   to   have   two   or   more   trades   as   a   kind   of   insurance   against   lean   times   in   one   or   the other,   and   in   some   cases   they   are   amusingly   incongruous.   For   example   in   1842   there   were   a   "butcher   &   beer   retailer,"   a   "cabinet   maker   &   beer retailer"   and   a   "bricklayer   &   beer   retailer,"   whilst   in   1851   there   were   a   "blacksmith,   grocer   and   draper,"   a   "farmer   and   road   surveyor,"   a   "grocer and   ironmonger,"   a   "grocer   and   cooper"   and   a   "beer   retailer   &   farmer."   Perhaps   the   best   combination   appears   in   the   directory   for   1859 describing the proprietor of what is now the Central Stores: Joseph Hamilton Mundell-grocer, ironmonger, bookseller, seedsman, vendor of patent medicines, & agent to the Eagle Life office. The   idea   of   selling   both   patent   medicines   and   life   insurance   over   the   same   counter   was   nothing   less   than   inspired,   and   in   the   same   year   we get: Thomas Satchell, drtiggist, grocer, painter, plumber & glazier. In this case any connection there may have been between the trades is not so apparent. In   1851   there   must   have   been   at   least   13   shops   in   the   village,   in   addition   to   the   premises   of   tailors,   milliners   and shoemakers. Ten   of   these   shops   sold   groceries   among   other   things,   and   although   some   are   still   shops   today,   others have   since   reverted   to   dwelling   houses.   Two   examples   of   the   latter   are   38   West   Street   and   95   North   Street,   both   of which still retain old shop windows. Click the photo below to see 'Hatton Stores' on West Street in 1900 - Few   details   are   known   of   shops   and   traders   in   the   village   before   the   19th   century,   apart   from   isolated   references   in   the   old   churchwardens accounts,   but   Thomas   Speare   was   a   substantial   Bere   Regis   trader   during   the   17th   century,   as   his   business   seems   to   have   been   sufficient   to warrant   the   issue   of   his   own   trade   token   coinage. A   family   of   Speares   was   established   in   the   village   at   least   before   1589   and   "Thomas   Speare, mercer" (i.e. trader) is referred to in 1614 and 1630. At   certain   periods   there   were   no   official   issues   of   small   value   coins   such   as   farthings,   halfpennies   and   pennies,   and   this   made   small   scale transactions   extremely   difficult.   Accordingly   certain   cities,   towns   and   private   traders   took   matters   into   their   own   hands   and   unofficially   minted their   own   token   coinage.   The   first   of   these   periods   was   between   1649   and   1672   when   the   token   coins   were   usually   of   thin   brass   stamped   with the   name   of   the   issuer,   usually   a   tradesman,   and   the   date   and   place   of   issue.   29   places   in   Dorset   are   known   to   have   issued   tokens   at   this   time, one   of   which   was   Bere   Regis.   The   Bere   Regis   token   has   the   entwined   initials   TS   as   a   central   device   on   each   side   and   perimeter   lettering   as follows: obverse-THOMAS SPEARE reverse-OF BEEARE REGES Hutchins lists another coin as a Bere Regis token inscribed: obverse WILLIAM LODGE Of BEARE reverse-His HALFE PENNY 1668. This   second   token,   however,   was   probably   not   issued   here,as   the   name   Lodge   does   not   occur   in   any   of   the   known   parish   records   and   the Beare   referred   to   could   be   some   other   village   with   the   same   name,   especially   as   the   `Regis'   component   does   not   appear.   Between   1775   and 1797   further   tokens   were   issued,   Poole   and   Sherborne   town   issues   being   most   common   in   Dorset.   Several   coins   were   found   in   the   parish during   1964,   including   a   Poole   token   1/2   d.   of   1795,   a   Sherborne   token   1/2   d.   of   1797   and   an   Inverness   token   1/2   d.   of   1797.   Further   tokens were issued between 1807 and 1821 but these are less common. No   account   of   the   industries   associated   with   Bere   Regis   would   be   complete   without   reference   to   the watercress   industry   founded   at   Doddings   in   1892   by   William   Bedford.   He   moved   here   from   Hertfordshire, having   found   at   Doddings   natural   springs   and   a   stream   in   close   proximity,   creating   ideal   conditions   for watercress   growing,   and   from   this   small   beginning   he   subsequently   established   further   beds   not   only   at Southbrook (`Manor') and Roke (`Hollybush') in this parish, but at several surrounding villages. In   addition   to   the   watercress   beds   Mr.   Bedford   also   ran   Doddings   farm   and   continued   the   operation of   the   Brick   Hill   brickworks,   at   least   until   1911   according   to   the   trade   directories.   By   1907   he   had formed   a   partnership   with   Mr.   Arthur   Dwight   of   Chamberlaynes   Farm,   the   firm   then   being   known   as Bedford   and   Dwight,   but   by   1920   Mr.   F.   Jesty   had   come   into   the   firm   and   its   present   name   Bedford and   Jesty   was   then   established.   In   1924   the   firm   earned   the   distinction   of   being   the   first   to   use   a brand   name   for   a   vegetable   product   when   it   introduced   the   term   "Sylvasprings,"   and   by   this   time   it   had   grown   to   the foremost   and   largest   of   its   kind   in   England,   sending   watercress   to   most   of   the   large   towns   and   cities   in   the   country,   particularly   the   midlands   and north. Although   methods   of   packaging,   storage   and   despatch   have   changed   considerably   over   the   years,   the   basic   process   of   `pulling'   or   `cutting'   by hand   still   remains.   Bedford   and   Jesty   have   many   times   been   the   first   to   adopt   a   new   innovation   which   has   later   become standard   practice   among   watercress   growers   as   a   whole. As   an   example,   it   was   at   one   time   customary   for   watercress   to   be packed   loose   in   returnable   flat   baskets,   or   `flats'   as   they   were   called,   and   Mr.   Bedford   introduced   the   idea   of   tying   the   cress into   bunches   and   packing   them   in   non-returnable   chips. Thus   the   old   mill   building   at   Doddings   which   is   called   the   `flat   house' owes this name, not to its shape, but to its having formerly been used for the storage of `flats'. In   more   recent   years   greater   mechanisation   in   packaging,   storage   and   transport   has   brought   about   inevitable   changes,   and these   processes   have   now   been   centralised   at   a   large   depot   at   Southbrook,   so   replacing   the   smaller   individual   bunching   and packing sheds at each separate group of beds. Click the old photo below to see the large depot at Southbrook - Industries   on   this   scale   depend   on   efficient   communications.   The   history   of   transport   in   Bere   Regis   naturally   reflects   the   development   of   the road   system   in   and   around   the   parish,   and   as   referred   to   previously,   this   village   was   singularly   isolated   until   the   advent   of   the   Dorchester,   Poole and   Wimborne   turnpike   roads   in   1841-now   represented   by   the   present A35   and A31.   The   18th   century   coaching   era   had   passed   this   village   by and   the   only   connection   to   neighbouring   towns   was   by   way   of   narrow,   meandering   tracks   and   lanes   unsuitable   and   often   impassable   for wheeled   vehicles.   Hence   in   1830   the   only   public   transport   available   was   that   offered   by   William   Taper   who   operated   his   horse   drawn   `carrier' service twice a week-to Dorchester on Saturdays and to Poole on Thursdays. By   1842,   just   after   completion   of   the   turnpike   roads   he   ran   an   additional   service   to   Poole,   and   by   1846   Robert   Shaddock   was   operating   a second   carrier   service,   so   that   between   them   there   was   a   service   to   Dorchester   on   Wednesdays   with   two   each   Saturday,   and   two   to   Poole   on both   Mondays   and Thursdays.   With   horse   drawn   carriers   the   destination   point   at   the   town   was   of   necessity   an   inn   with   stabling   accommodation, in   the   case   of   Dorchester   the   `Phoenix'   Inn,   and   it   is   interesting   that   the   `Phoenix'   continued   to   be   the   'bus   stop   for   Bere   Regis   for   some   thirty years after the horse drawn carriers had disappeared. By   1851   when   the   population   of   Bere   Regis   had   reached   nearly   1,500,   four   carriers   were   operating,   giving   services   to   Dorchester,   Poole, Wareham   and   Wimborne   several   times   each   week,   and   by   1859,   although   Reuben   Day   and   Robert   Poore   were   the   only   carriers   operating,   they appear   to   have   been   doing   so   on   a   full-time   basis,   covering   Blandford,   Dorchester,   Poole   and   Wareham.   Reuben   Day   appears   to   have   died shortly   after   1865,   as   Mrs.   Selina   Day   had   become   the   principal   carrier   by   1867,   continuing   as   such   at   least   until   1889.   She   was   succeeded   by Charles   Day,   presumably   her   son,   who   had   already   been   concerned   in   the   business,   and   he   continued   it   in   conjunction   with   farming   until   at least 1898, but by 1903 he appears to have reverted entirely to farming. From   1895   to   1911   the   number   of   carriers   operating   varied   between   two   and   four,   until   in   1915   there   were   five-William   and   Frank   Hoare,   Ernest Roper,   Frederick   Roper,   Charlton Toms   and   George   Vacher   -   the   latter   subsequently   taking   over   the   Ropers'   business.   However   the   days   of   the horse drawn carriers were numbered, and not to last much beyond the end of the first world war. In   the   horse   drawn   carrier   days   the   journey   to   Dorchester   or   Poole   was   a   lengthy   business,   and   departure   from   the   village   seems   normally   to have   been   8.30   a.m.   after   1907.   Private   hire   parties   where   even   longer   journeys   were   involved   meant   correspondingly   longer   traveling   times, and   interesting   glimpses   of   such   occasions   are   afforded   by   descriptions   of   choir   and   Sunday   school   outings   in   old   parish   magazines.   For example on 4 August, 1887 the Bere and Kingston choirs took part in a choral festival at Weymouth: Not   the   least   enjoyable   part   of   the   day   was   the   drive,   which   occupied   about   three   hours.   Weymouth   was   reached   between   11   and   12   o'clock, and   a   pic-nic   dinner   was   partaken   of   on   the   beach.   .........   Punctually   at   8   o'clock,   Mr   Day   started   on   the   homeward   journey,   .........   and   before mid-night a long, but pleasant and successful day was brought to a close. When   160   Sunday   school   children   from   Bere   and   Kingston   were   taken   for   an   outing   to   Swanage   on   28   July,   1908,   they   were   conveyed   by   "one motor,   six   cycles,   four   waggonettes   and   six   waggons"-a   mixture   of   motor,   human   and   horse   power.   Even   steam   power   was   sometimes   used,   as after a similar outing on 8 August, 1916 the vicar expressed his thanks in the parish magazine to: Mr.   Cobb   for   his   Traction   Engine   and   Trucks,   to   Mr.   Miller   for   kindly   providing   the   board-seating   for   the   Trucks,   to   Mr.   Bedford   for   petrol   for   the Motor Bus which he was so good as to provide and which greatly added to our convenience of transport . . . As   the   18th   century   coaching   era   passed   Bere   Regis   by,   so   for   the   same   geographical   reasons,   did   the   19th   century   railway   age,   perhaps fortunately   in   retrospect.   Even   so,   in   1899   a   proposal   had   been   put   forward   to   run   a   branch   line   from   Dorchester   to   Blandford   via   Puddletown, Tolpuddle,   Bere   Regis, Anderson   and   Zelston,   and   the   scheme   had   got   as   far   as   the   appointment   of   a   London   firm   of   surveyors   to   survey   and plan the route in detail. No railway station then...! In   1919   George   Vacher   gave   up   his   horse   drawn   vehicles   and   acquired   a   motor   'bus   thereby   starting   the   first   Bere   Regis   based   motor   service, to   Dorchester   on   Wednesdays   and   Saturdays   and   to   Poole   on   Mondays   and   Thursdays.   It   is   noticeable   that   one   immediate effect   of   the   use   of   'buses   was   to   delay   the   departure   time   from   the   previous   8.30am   to   10am,   although   Henry   Farr   who   by 1920   had   started   a   motor   service   to   Wareham   on   Thursdays   and   Saturdays   continued   to   leave   at   9.00   a.m.   as   in   the   horse drawn days. Click the photo below to have a look at Mr Vachers motor 'bus - By   1927   George   Vacher   was   operating   on   a   larger   scale   with   at   least   two   vehicles,   running   services   to   Blandford,   Bournemouth,   Dorchester, Poole,   Wareham   and   Wimborne,   most   of   them   twice   a   week.   In   September   1930   his   business   was   taken   over   by   Hants   and   Dorset   Motor Services,   and   he   was   then   appointed   area   manager,   running   that   company's   office   which   formed   part   of   a   waiting   room   adjoining   31   West Street, until his retirement in the 1950's. The   term   `carrier'   remained   in   use   to   describe   the   new   motor   services   in   official   publications   until   at   least   1927,   but   by   1931   the   term   had   been dropped, and to quote the trade directory for that year:             Conveyance-Hants   &   Dorset   Motor   Services   Ltd   maintain   a   frequent   service   to   Blandford,   Bournemouth,   Dorchester,   Poole,   Wareham   & Wimborne, daily. Although   the   motor   'bus   had   completely   replaced   the   horse   drawn   carrier   before   1920   the   term   'carrier'   continued   to   be   applied   locally   to   the market day buses to Wareham until recent years. On   29   October,   1929   Mr.   R.   W.   Toop,   a   former   employee   of   George   Vacher,   started   his   own   'bus   service,   thereby   establishing   what   was   later   to become   known   as   Bere   Regis   and   District   Motor   Services. This   company   grew   rapidly   and   has   become   one   of   the largest   of   private   motor   companies   operating   public   and   hire   services   all   over   the   county   with   depots   in   several Dorset   towns.   In   latter   years   the   company   has   specialised   in   private   hire   work,   and   coaches   in   their   familiar   brown livery can be encountered almost anywhere in Britain. Since   the   end   of   the   Second   World   War   public   transport   has   steadily   declined   in   favour   of   the   private   motor   car.   This   fact,   coupled   with increased    industrial    mechanisation    and    other    social    changes,    has    influenced    village    life    considerably-not    only    by    the    volume    of    traffic congesting   the   village   streets.   Until   the   end   of   the   19th   century   and   beyond,   when   almost   every   inhabitant   worked   in   the   parish,   the   village   was almost   entirely   self-sufficient   with   shops   and   tradesmen   to   cater   for   every   need.   Now,   however,   the   pattern   of   village   life   is   very   different.   Ease of   transport   to   neighbouring   towns   has   enabled   a   high   proportion   of   the   inhabitants   to   work   and   shop   outside   the   parish,   with   the   result   that   the village is becoming a purely residential centre rather than the trading centre it was in former days.
Mr Toop and one of his coaches in 1936
© Bere Regis Village  2003  -  2017

History of Bere Regis

Industries from 1335 onwards

Bere Regis Village Website
From   earliest   times   agriculture   has   been   the   principal   industry   of   this parish,   together   with   the   associated   rural   crafts   such   as   carpentry, thatching,   milling   and   blacksmithing.   Apart from   the   open   common   fields   to   the   north   of the   village,   the   downland   was   not   generally used   except   in   later   years   for   sheep,   and before     the     19th     century     farming     was confined   almost   entirely   to   the   more   fertile alluvial   valley   areas.   The   old   established   farms   are   therefore   to   be found   along   the   valleys   of   the   Bere   stream   and   river   Piddle,   and   they bear    highly    individual    names,    such    as    Roke,    Shitterton,    Court, Doddings   and   Philliols.   Subsequently   farms   such   as   Bere   Down   and Muddox    Barrow    (Skippits)    have    become    established    on    downland, whilst   larger   areas   of   heathland   have   been   brought   under   cultivation   in order   to   extend   old   farms   or   to   establish   new   ones   such   as   Lower Woodbury farm. In   the   following   accounts   of   old   farms,   they   are   dealt   with   in   the   order in   which   they   occur   along   the   river   valleys,   working   in   a   downstream direction: Roke   Farm.    Formerly   spelled   'Roak',   this   seems   originally   to   have been   a   separate   manor   in   its   own   right,   but by    the    reign    of    Edward    IV    (1461-83)    it belonged   to   the   Turbervilles,   and   then   no doubt   became   part   of   the   Bere   manor.   Most of    the    farm    buildings    were    rebuilt    at    the close   of   the   19th   century,   but   the   formerly thatched   farmhouse   and   barn   date   from   the   18th   century.   The   original farm   was   probably   confined   to   the   low   lying   meadow   land   only,   but   by the 18th century it had been extended to include most of Roke Down. Shitterton     Farm.      Shitterton     has     always     been     under     separate ownership   from   the   Bere   manor,   and   was   formerly   regarded   as   a manor    in    its    own    right.    The    name    has    been variously      spelled      Chitterton,      Shitterton      or Sitterton,   and   at   one   time   during   the   17th   century was   known   as   Whitelovington   according   to   the   old churchwardens   accounts.   In   the   15th   century   it had    been    held    by    Richard    Cerne    who    died    in 1431   and   by   John   Herring   who   died   in   1456,   but by   1591   it   had   come   into   the   hands   of   the   Morton family    of    Milborne    (Cardinal    Morton's    family)    whose    descendants, including   the   Morton   Pleydells,   continued   to   own   it   until   the   property became   part   of   the   Bladen   estate   early   in   this   century.   The Argentons, and   later   a   branch   of   the   Williams   family   of   Herringston   were   lessees of   the   manor   and   farm   in   the   17th   and   18th   centuries,   but   they   resided in   Shitterton   House   which   was   described   in   1861   as   having   been "lately   taken   down".   The   farm   was   run   as   a   separate   entity   until   1968 when   it   was   annexed   to   Briantspuddle   farm   and   the   fine   early   18th century    thatched    farmhouse    (click    the    photo    below)    became    a separate dwelling. Southbrook.    Although    not    now    a    separate    farm,    Southbrook    was formerly   regarded   as   a   `hamlet',   and   the   late 18th   century   thatched   barn   which   survived until     recent     years     suggests     the     former existence    of    a    farm.    During    the    reign    of Edward   1   (1272-1307)   Southbrook   was   held by   the   Boys   or   de   Bosco   family,   and   in   the 14th century the Shanke family appear to have succeeded them. Court   Farm.    This   had   always   been   the   capital   farm attached   to   the   manor   and   its   name   is   derived   from the   days   when   the   manor   itself   belonged   directly   to the king. Doddings    Farm.     Formerly    called    Doddingsbere,    the name    is    thought    to    be    of    Saxon    origin.    It    does    not appear   to   have   formed   part   of   the   manor   at   the   time   of the   Domesday   survey   (1086),   and   the   de   Bosco   family held    it    in    the    late    13th    century.    A    family    named    de Whitfield   held   it   in   the   early   part   of   the   14th   century,   and Eubolo   de   Strange   had   owned   it   before   his   death   in 1335,    but    soon    afterwards    it    came    to    the   Turberville family.   It   was   then   presumably   added   to   the   main   manor,   but   in   later times   at   least   a   part   of   Doddings   formed   part   of   the   estates   of   the Morton family of Milborne. Philliols   Farm   derives   its   name   from   having   belonged   in   early   times   to the   Filiol   family.   By   the   17th   century   it   was   owned   by   a   family   named Turner   who   seem   to   have   become   related   by   marriage   to   the   Ekins family   who   in   about   1690   inherited   it.   It   then   remained   in   the   hands   of that   family   until   at   least   the   beginning   of   the   19th   century,   when   after one   or   two   changes   of   hand   by   sale   it   was   finally   bought   by   Mr.   J.   S. W.   S.   E.   Drax   and   hence   became   part   of   the   main   estate.   The   farm buildings   were   rebuilt   by   the   Ekins   family   in   1748,   as   that   date   appears in the west gable of the barn. Chamberlaynes     Farm     i tself     is     first     referred     to     in     the     old churchwardens   accounts   in   1630,   but   Chamberlaynes   Mill   is   probably older,   having   at   one   time   belonged   to   Bindon   Abbey,   and   the   mill existed   at   least   before   1541,   wnen   the   property   comprised   one   mill,   60 acres   (24   hectares)   of   land,   16   acres   (6.4   hectares)   of   meadow   and 200   acres   (80   hectares)   of   heath   and   furze.   The   Mortons   of   Milborne became   lessees   under   Bindon   Abbey,   and   no   doubt   acquired   the   mill and    farm    after    the    dissolution,    for    it    eventually    came    to    their descendants   the   Morton   Pleydells.   In   1653   the   rents   were   valued   at £3.34 per annum. Culeaze   Farm   is   referred   to   in   the   old   churchwardens   accounts   as early   as   1628   when   it   belonged   to   the   Loupe   family.   Before   1642   the name   is   spelt   Culease,   but   after   that   date   it   seems   always   to   have been   spelt   Cowlease   which   explains   its   derivation.   In   1861   it   formed part    of    property    invested    in    charity    trustees    by    the    Framptons    of Morton. Stockley   Farms,   higher   and   lower,   appear   always   to   have   been   two separate farms, one having belonged to the Turbervilles at least before 1400,    and    the    other    to    Tarrant    Abbey,    although    the    Turbervilles acquired   it   also   after   the   dissolution.   John   Filiol   who   died   in   1403 seems   also   to   have   held   land   at   Stockley,   but   possibly   as   a   lessee. Both   farms   passed   to   the   Drax   family   with   the   remainder   of   the   manor in   the   18th   century.   From   1614   to   1657   the   term   Stockley   was   given   to a    large    district    for    the    purpose    of    church    rate    assessment,    and included   the   whole   of   the   Bere   Heath   area   as   well   as   Chamberlaynes and Doddings. Hyde.   The   name   is   probably   derived   from   the   word   'hide'   meaning   a farming   unit,   a   term   in   use   at   the   time   of   the   Domesday   survey   (1086) and    before,    as    an    approximate    measure    of    land    area.    Hyde    has always   been   a   separate   manor   or   estate   which   in   early   times   belonged to   Tarrant   Abbey,   and   in   1293   the   annual   income   in   rents   from   it amounted    to    £2.75.    In    1534,    shortly    before    the    dissolution    of    the abbey the annual income had risen to £4.40:- Hyde worth per annum, in uncertain rents: Of Wheat, one quarter ..................................................... 5s. 4d. Of Barley, five quarters .................................................. 13s. 4d. Of Oats, four quarters ...................................................... 5s. 4d. In uncertain rents: Of four oxen ................................ £1 12s. Od. Of four cows ...............................................................£1 12s. Od. Total...........................................................................£4 8s. Od. After   the   dissolution   of   the   abbey   Hyde   manor   was   granted   to   Thomas Trenchard,   but   between   1603   and   1625   it   was   purchased   by   John Ryves   whose   family   held   it   at   least   until   1725.   The   estate   was   valued at   £100   per   annum   in   1641.   The   Hyde   branch   of   the   Ryves   family appear   to   have   died   out   at   some   time   in   the   18th   century,   and   the manor   was   purchased   by   William   Gaisford   Peach   who   in   1837   re-sold it   to   Charles   James   Radclyffe   whose   family   retained   it   until   well   into this century. Buddens   Farm   is   the   last   downstream   valley   farm   in   the   parish.   It does   not   appear   to   be   referred   to   in   any   early   deeds   or   documents   but an   old   cottage   and   barn   date   from   the   18th   century.   The   farm   probably owes    its    origin    to    Luke    Budden,    or    farmer    Budden    as    he    was sometimes   called,   in   about   1730.   From   1701   to   1717   a   widow   Budden occurs    in    the    church    rate    assessments    holding    a    property    called Hernsmead   or   Hernes   meadow   with   a   rateable   value   of   2d.   and   her son   Luke   appears   to   have   inherited   this   property   at   the   same   rate   in both   1723   and   1725.   By   1735   however   Luke   Budden's   rateable   value had    risen    to    2s.    2d.    and    indicates    the    acquisition    of    a    farm approaching   the   size   of   Philliols   which   was   then   rated   at   2s.   lOd.   in 1731   "farmer   Budden"   received   a   payment   for   vermin   heads   from   the churchwarden   responsible   for   the   heath   district,   denoting   that   he   had by   that   time   acquired   the   status   of   a   farmer,   and   was   living   in   that   part of the parish. An   interesting   glimpse   into   the   state   of   farming   in   the   parish   is   afforded as    a    result    of    the    Napoleonic    wars    (1795-1815)    when    Napoleon Bonaparte    had    overrun    most    of    Europe    and    invasion    of    England seemed    to    be    imminent.   Among    other    preparations    for    a    possible invasion,    arrangements    were    made    for    the    evacuation    of    livestock from   an   approximately   ten   miles   wide   coastal   strip,   and   for   them   to   be driven to certain prearranged points further inland. Accordingly,   in   1796   farmers   in   this   coastal   strip   were   required   to furnish   information   relating   to   the   number   of   live-stock   to   be   moved and   the   men   they   had   available   to   assist.   They   were   also   required   to state   the   acreages   of   their   various   crops.   The   southern   part   of   this parish   came   within   the   coastal   strip   and   8   farmers   in   the   Hyde   and Bere    Heath    area    gave    statistics.    The    farms    concerned    were    an average   of   9   1/4   miles   from   the   sea   and   5   miles   from   "the   place   fixed for   driving   the   stock."   There   were   8   "servants   that   can   be   mounted   on horse-back   to   assist   in   driving   stock,"   and   13   "servants   on   foot   that can   be   furnished   with   Pick-axes,   Shovels   etc."   Between   them   they   had 40   horses,   172   cows   and   538   sheep,   and   the   collective   acreages   of their crops were: wheat ............................ 7712- acres (31 hectares) barley ........................... 143 acres (57.2 hectares) oats .............................. 43 acres (17.2 hectares) peas ............................. 5 acres (2 hectares) hay .............................. 279 acres (111.6 hectares) Six   farmers   from   another   part   of   the   parish   also   gave   statistics   and were   an   average   of   10   miles   from   the   sea   and   5   1/4   miles   from   where the   stock   was   to   be   driven,   and   six   mounted   men   were   available. Their stock    consisted    of    39    horses,    114    cows,    1740    sheep,    and    the collective acreages of their crops were: wheat ............................ 154 acres (61.6 hectares) barley ............................ 298 acres (119.2 hectares) oats .............................. 102 acres ( 40.8 hectares) peas .............................. 11 acres ( 4.4 hectares) hay ............................... 175 acres ( 70 hectares) Fortunately   none   of   these   measures   needed   to   be   put   into   effect   as the    invasion    did    not    materialise,    but    the    threat    prompted    some interesting   agricultural   statistics   which   would   not   otherwise   have   been known.   Another   preparation   for   this   threatened   invasion   took   the   form of   the   establishment   of   a   kind   of   "early   warning   system"   of   chains   of beacons    stretching    from    the    south    coast    to    London.    They    were prepared   for   lighting   at   short   notice   and   were   so   placed   on   suitable   hill sites that each could be seen from its neighbour. Upon   the   enemy   fleet   being   sighted   in   the   channel,   a   beacon   on   the coast   would   have   been   lighted,   seen   by   the   watchers   at   the   next   one inland,   which   in   its   turn   would   have   been   lighted,   and   so   on   until   the news    reached    London    more    rapidly    than    by    any    other    method available   at   the   time.   There   were   31   of   such   beacons   in   Dorset,   one   of which was on Woodbury Hill. Agricultural   labourers   had   always   been   poorly   paid   and   in   such   a   rural area    this    was    inevitably    reflected    in    the    economic    situation    of    the parish   as   a   whole,   but   this   was   alleviated   to   some   extent   due   to   the existence   of   the   open   common   fields   in   which   the   villagers   could   go some   way   towards   supplementing   their   meagre   incomes.   By   the   end of   the   18th   century   the   industrial   revolution   was   beginning   to   have   an adverse   effect   on   rural   areas   and   agricultural   wages   were   approaching their   lowest   point.   This   situation   was   aggravated   by   the   breakdown   of the   manorial   system   which   had   lasted   for   centuries,   the   amalgamation of   farms   to   form   larger   units,   and   the   gradual   but   inevitable   enclosure of   the   open   common   fields.   In   addition   the   Napoleonic   Wars   caused further    agricultural    depression,    and    matters    came    to    a    head    in November    and    December    1830    when    bands    of    farm    labourers attacked     the     houses     of     those     they     considered     in     some     way responsible   for   their   situation,   set   fire   to   ricks,   and   destroyed   threshing machines-a   new   innovation   which   they   considered   to   be   one   particular cause   of   their   plight.   It   was   only   some   four   years   later   that   the   men   of Tolpuddle   reacted   in   a   much   more   peaceable   way   and   yet   achieved   so much   more   in   the   long   run,   in   spite   of   their   severe   punishment.   The rioters   were   particularly   active   in   this   area,   and   as   a   result   71   prisoners were   tried   at   a   special   assize   at   Dorchester   in   January   1831.   The following   extract   is   part   of   a   letter   from   Mr.   C.   B.   Wollaston,   chairman of the appeal court, to Mr. Okeden who presided at the criminal court: Dorchester, Friday I   have   now   scarcely   time   to   tell   you   that   I   arrived   on   Friday   into   this disturbed   county   and   almost   immediately   set   off   for   Morton   Hall,   where Frampton   was   protecting   his   house   against   an   intended   attack   from the   inhabitants   of   Beer,   of   which   he   had   had   information   -   they   having been   exasperated   against   him   personally,   by   his   having   gone   there   for the   purpose   of   swearing   in   special   constables   and   taking   other   means of   protection-in   opposition.   I   think   they   were   encouraged   by   the   defiant conduct of Mr. Drax, of which you will hear more. The   matter   was   also   referred   to   in   the   diary   of   Mary   Frampton   of Moreton, whose brother is mentioned in the above extract: On    Nov.    22,    1830    the    first    risings    took    place    in    this    county.    Mr. Portman   immediately   promised   to   raise   the   wages   of   his   labourers, and    by    doing    this    without    concert    with    other    gentlemen,    greatly increased   their   difficulties.   My   brother   Frampton   harangued   the   people at    Bere    Regis    and    argued    with    them    on    the    impropriety    of    their conduct,    refusing    to    concede    to    their    demands    whilst    asked    with menaces.   This   spirited   conduct   caused   him   to   be   very   unpopular,   and threats were issued against him and his house. By     1841,     according     to     the     census returns    for    that    year,    when    the    total population    of    the    parish    had    risen    to 1,394,    there    were    20    farmers    in    the parish    employing    between    them    161 agricultural   labourers,   but   by   1851   when the   population   had   increased   to   1494,   there   were   30   farmers   and   186 agricultural labourers in addition to 29 plough-boys. Making    flour    was    naturally    closely    allied    to    farming,    and    it    is    not surprising   that   a   parish   with   two   rivers   or   streams   should   have   been liberally   supplied   with   watermills.   Most   of   them   continued   to   function as   such   until   the   beginning   of   this   century,   but   fell   into   disuse   when   it became   more   economic   to   centralise   milling   at   larger   plants.   Even   so many   of   the   old   mill   buildings   survive   in   a   readily   recognisable   form, and in some cases even some of the machinery remains. A    watermill    existed    at    Doddings    as    long    ago    as    1086    when    it    is referred   to   in   the   Domesday   survey   of   that   year,   and   doubtless   there were   others   in   the   parish   at   that   time,   but   as   the   manor   was   royal demesne no details are given. At   Hyde   and   Roke   farms   two   identical water      wheels      still      exist      and      are interesting   for   being   made   principally   of iron.   Although   the   spokes   are   of   wood the   water   vanes,   rims   and   other   portions are    of    iron,    the    driving    cogs    being situated   on   the   insides   of   the   rims,   and at   Roke   much   of   the   driving   shaft   and   mechanism   also   survives   in good   condition.   Both   of   the   wheels   were   made   by   Lott   and   Walne   of Dorchester   and   must   have   been   among   the   last   to   be   manufactured   in Dorset.   West   Mill   at   the   west   end   of   the   village,   although   formerly   used for   grinding   corn,   appears   to   have   been   used   as   a   saw-mill   in   its   latter years, according to the 1902 ordnance map. There   was   another   mill   at   Southbrook   situated   at   Elders   Mead,   now occupied   by   Manor   Cottages,   the   watercress   beds   west   of   the   road and    part    of    the    existing    field    south    west    of    the    church.    In    1777, according   to   Isaac   Taylor's   map,   the   tenant   of   this   mill   was   R.   Shave. Chamberlaynes   Mill   was   established   at   least   before   1541,   and   the later mill building and mill stream still exist. In   days   when   hay   and   corn   ricks   were   invariably   thatched   and   when almost   every   cottage   in   the   village   was   roofed   with   thatch,   the   demand for   thatchers   must   have   been   high,   and   yet   surprisingly   there   were only   7   thatchers   in   the   parish   in   1841,   and   even   this   number   had dropped    to    5    by    1851.    On    the    other    hand    woodmen,    engaged presumably    in    making    thatching    spars,    hurdles,    faggots    and    other such   items   had   increased   in   numbers   from   10   in   1841   to   no   less   than 34 in 1851. Many   farmers   seem   to   have   used   carpentry   as   a   stand-by   trade   at times   of   agricultural   depression,   and   their   probably   rougher   quality work   was   perhaps   responsible   for   the   origin   of   the   derogatory   term 'hedge-carpentry.'   It   is,   therefore,   significant   that   as   the   number   of farmers   increased   from   20   in   1841   to   30   in   1851,   the   number   of carpenters   dropped   during   the   same   period   from   18   to   12.   Carpenters seem   always   to   have   been   in   demand   in   a   village   of   this   size   and many   are   referred   to   in   the   old   churchwardens   accounts   in   connection with   repairs   to   the   church,   seats   and   bell   frame   etc.;   and   one   family named   Gould   produced   successive   generations   of   carpenters   during the   17th,   18th   and   19th   centuries,   concerned   very   largely   with   the provision   and   maintenance   of   permanent   fair   buildings   on   Woodbury Hill. During   the   19th   century   the   number   of   carpenters   running   their   own businesses    varied    from    3    in    1830    to    7    in    1875,    some    of    them employing   several   men.   Henry   Galton,   described   as   a   cabinet   maker in   1830,   had   added   a   second   string   to   his   bow   by   1842   when   he   was described   as   a   "cabinet   maker   &   beer   retailer".   He   seems   to   have   died between   1853   and   1859   for   he   does   not   appear   in   the   directory   for   the latter   year,   but   "Henry   Galton,   carpenter,"   presumably   his   son   and namesake,   reappears   in   the   1865   directory.   By   1875   he   had   become "Henry    Clarke    Galton,    carpenter,    assistant    overseer    &    collector    of taxes,"   and   by   1880   he   was   offering   some   of   his   products   to   a   wider market   -"Henry   Clarke   Galton,   builder,   cabinet   maker   &   maker   of   the improved   `Guest'   table.   See   advertisement".   The   advertisement   in   the directory,   which   covered   Dorset   as   a   whole,   shows   a   three   legged circular stool-like table and the legend: The   improved   "Guest"   table,   (registered   design).   These   tables   are made   in   Polished   Oak   and   Ebonized   mounted   with   Blue   and   White China   of   the   choicest   patterns   (5   of   which   have   been   supplied   to   HRH the   Prince   of   Wales).   Packed   and   put   on   Rail   at   25s.   (£1.25)   each. Sole Manufacturer H. C. Galton, Bere Regis, Blandford, Dorset. Button   making   was   an   industry   which   flourished   in   Bere   Regis   during the   first   half   of   the   19th   century.   Clothwork   hand   embroidered   buttons on   a   horn   disc   base   were   first   manufactured   in   Dorset   at   Shaftesbury by   Abraham   Case   at   the   beginning   of   the   18th   century,   and   later   his grandson,   carrying   on   the   family   business,   evolved   a   wire   framework to   replace   the   old   horn   base.   Another   member   of   the   same   family established   the   business   in   Bere   Regis   about   the   middle   of   the   18th century,   and   this   was   carried   on   by   successive   members   of   the   Case family   until   the   middle   of   the   19th   century   when   machine   made   buttons began to replace the hand made version. The   central   depot   for   the   button   trade   in   this   area   was   at   Milborne   St. Andrew,   and   the   square   there   on   a   friday   was   said   to   have   been thronged with people from the surrounding countryside bringing in their week's   work   and   collecting   their   payment.   The   buttons   were   made almost   exclusively   by   women   and   girls   in   their   own   homes,   and   so seriously   was   the   industry   taken   that   in   Bere   Regis   in   1851   there   were said    to    be    several    schools    which    specialised    in    teaching    button making.   In   1.841   there   were   11   button   makers   in   the   parish,   but   this number   had   increased   to   69   by   1851   and   marked   the   climax   of   the trade,   as   numbers   had   decreased   to   12   by   1861   when   button   making seems to have largely given way to cotton glove making. Where    the    Bagshot    beds    thin    out    and    terminate    over    the    chalk, suitable   brick   clay   is   found   in   the   parish   and   brick   works   became established   at   Brick   Hill   near   Doddings and   at   Black   Hill.   The   Brick   Hill   works, where   the   old   Kiln   still   exists,   was   the older   of   the   two,   probably   established   at some   time   during   the   18th   century,   and continued   to   function   at   least   until   1911. The    Black    Hill    works    were    probably established   during   the   19th   century,   and   its   kiln,   drying   platform   with factory-like    brick    chimney,    and    even    the    railway    lines    and    trucks remained   on   the   site   until   the   Second   World   War.   Click   the   photo below to see the Brick Hill works in around 1885 - There   were   a   number   of   other   small   trades   carried   on   in   Bere   Regis during   the   19th   century,   details   of   which   may   be   obtained   from   the census    returns    of    1841,    1851    and    1861    and    the    various    trade directories   already   referred   to,   which   appeared   at   approximately   5 yearly   intervals   from   1830   onwards.   The   following   list   of   the   numbers of   people   engaged   in   the   various   occupations,   trades   and   professions is   for   1851,   a   year   which   is   fully   covered   by   both   a   comprehensive directory    and    census    returns.    The    occupations    are    in    alphabetical order: agricultural labourers ......... 186 laundresses ............... 10 baker ........................... 1 lime burner .................. 1 barrister (a visitor) ............ 1 maltster ..................... 1 basket maker ..................... 1 masons ..................... 6 blacksmiths .................. 9 millers ..........,.......... 8 brewer ........................... 1 milliners .................. 2 bricklayers ..................... 13 nurses ......,.,..........., 3 brick makers ..................... 4 ostlers (and grooms) ...... 3 builders ........................ 2 physicians .........,..,..... 2 butter factor ..................... 1 ploughboys .„.........„, 29 butcher ...,.................... 1 plumber ..................... 1 button makers .................. 69 postmistress ....„......... 1 carpenters ..................... 12 relieving officer .........,.. 1 carriers ........................ 2 road labourer .........,..,., 1 charwoman ..................... 1 road surveyor ..,.,..,......, 1 coachman ..................... 1 saddlers ...........„........ 3 confectioner .....„.......„.. 1 sawyers .....,.....,.....,.., 2 cooks ........................... 2 scholars .....,.....,.....,., 110 coopers ........................ 4 schoolteachers ,..,...,..., 4 dairymen ........................ 3 servants .....,......,.„„„, 31 draper .....................,..... 1 shepherds ....... 6 dressmakers ........,......... 15 shoemakers .........,...., 15 farmers ........................ 30 shopkeepers „........,.„, 3 footmen ........................ 3 tailors ............,.„„„, 7 gamekeepers .................. 3 tallowchandler .,.......„, 1 grocers ........................ 6 thatchers ...„...,...„„„ 5 independent minister ......... 1 tinker ...,.....,.....„„„„, 1 inland revenue officer ....„... 1 tinsmith ....,..„..,.„„„„ 1 innkeepers ..................„, 4 toll gate keepers ............ 2 ironmonger .................. 1 vicar .........,.,.„„„„„, 1 joiners (and cabinet makers) 3 wagoners ...........,..„„ 7 knitter ...................,....... 1 woodmen .................. 34 The   trade   directory   for   1851   gives   the   number   of   milliners   as   7   against the   2   recorded   in   the   census   returns,   but   as   they   are   all   described   as "milliner   &   c"   in   the   directory   they   may   have   been   dressmakers   as   well and   included   in   that   category   for   the   purpose   of   the   census.   In   fact   it was   by   no   means   unusual   during   the   19th   century   for   a   person   to   have two   or   more   trades   as   a   kind   of   insurance   against   lean   times   in   one   or the   other,   and   in   some   cases   they   are   amusingly   incongruous.   For example   in   1842   there   were   a   "butcher   &   beer   retailer,"   a   "cabinet maker   &   beer   retailer"   and   a   "bricklayer   &   beer   retailer,"   whilst   in   1851 there   were   a   "blacksmith,   grocer   and   draper,"   a "farmer     and     road     surveyor,"     a     "grocer     and ironmonger,"   a   "grocer   and   cooper"   and   a   "beer retailer   &   farmer."   Perhaps   the   best   combination appears   in   the   directory   for   1859   describing   the proprietor of what is now the Central Stores: Joseph   Hamilton   Mundell-grocer,   ironmonger,   bookseller,   seedsman, vendor of patent medicines, & agent to the Eagle Life office. The   idea   of   selling   both   patent   medicines   and   life   insurance   over   the same   counter   was   nothing   less   than   inspired,   and   in   the   same   year   we get: Thomas Satchell, drtiggist, grocer, painter, plumber & glazier. In   this   case   any   connection   there   may   have   been   between   the   trades is not so apparent. In   1851   there   must   have   been   at   least   13   shops   in   the   village,   in addition   to   the   premises   of   tailors,   milliners   and   shoemakers.   Ten   of these   shops   sold   groceries   among   other   things,   and   although   some are   still   shops   today,   others   have   since   reverted   to   dwelling   houses. Two   examples   of   the   latter   are   38   West   Street   and   95   North   Street, both   of   which   still   retain   old   shop   windows.   Click   the   photo   below   to see 'Hatton Stores' on West Street in 1900 - Few   details   are   known   of   shops   and   traders   in   the   village   before   the 19th   century,   apart   from   isolated   references   in   the   old   churchwardens accounts,   but   Thomas   Speare   was   a   substantial   Bere   Regis   trader during   the   17th   century,   as   his   business   seems   to   have   been   sufficient to    warrant    the    issue    of    his    own    trade    token    coinage.   A    family    of Speares    was    established    in    the    village    at    least    before    1589    and "Thomas Speare, mercer" (i.e. trader) is referred to in 1614 and 1630. At   certain   periods   there   were   no   official   issues   of   small   value   coins such   as   farthings,   halfpennies   and   pennies,   and   this   made   small   scale transactions   extremely   difficult.   Accordingly   certain   cities,   towns   and private    traders    took    matters    into    their    own    hands    and    unofficially minted    their    own    token    coinage.    The    first    of    these    periods    was between   1649   and   1672   when   the   token   coins   were   usually   of   thin brass   stamped   with   the   name   of   the   issuer,   usually   a   tradesman,   and the   date   and   place   of   issue.   29   places   in   Dorset   are   known   to   have issued   tokens   at   this   time,   one   of   which   was   Bere   Regis.   The   Bere Regis   token   has   the   entwined   initials   TS   as   a   central   device   on   each side and perimeter lettering as follows: obverse-THOMAS SPEARE reverse-OF BEEARE REGES Hutchins lists another coin as a Bere Regis token inscribed: obverse WILLIAM LODGE Of BEARE reverse-His HALFE PENNY 1668. This   second   token,   however,   was   probably   not   issued   here,as   the name   Lodge   does   not   occur   in   any   of   the   known   parish   records   and the   Beare   referred   to   could   be   some   other   village   with   the   same   name, especially   as   the   `Regis'   component   does   not   appear.   Between   1775 and    1797    further    tokens    were    issued,    Poole    and    Sherborne    town issues   being   most   common   in   Dorset.   Several   coins   were   found   in   the parish    during    1964,    including    a    Poole    token    1/2    d.    of    1795,    a Sherborne   token   1/2   d.   of   1797   and   an   Inverness   token   1/2   d.   of   1797. Further   tokens   were   issued   between   1807   and   1821   but   these   are   less common. No    account    of    the    industries    associated    with Bere   Regis   would   be   complete   without   reference to   the   watercress   industry   founded   at   Doddings in   1892   by   William   Bedford.   He   moved   here   from Hertfordshire,   having &nbs