Sunday, 9 March 2014

Joseph Damer the past and the future

A new school has been announced for Poundbury in Dorchester. It is to replace Damers 1st school in Damers Road. This is great news for the children of Dorchester, and for parents who may be considering buying property in Poundbury.

I visited Milton Abbas on Sunday morning, for a walk in the warm sunshine. The road to Milton Abbas had water bubbling up though the cracks, and the flood signs were still in place. The path to the Abbey was obviously muddy, but thankfully I was wearing the right shoes!

I have visited the Abbey before, for an ordination service. My daughter was only about 8 or 9 years old when she was singing regularly in a church choir. The choir was asked to sing at the service and I remember taking her there, and being quite unprepared for the length of the proceedings!

Whilst it was a very important occasion for the clergy, I had not quite prepared myself or my daughter for a long and very chilly evening!

This Sunday morning the Abbey was empty. It was obviously suffering from damp issues. The heating was on,  I imagine to combat this, so on this visit it was warm inside.

I noticed the sculptured tomb pictured above. It was the burial place of Joseph and Caroline Damer. Joseph Damer or Lord Milton 1st Earl of Dorchester as he later became, was responsible for having the whole of Milton Abbas village relocated!

In 1773 the village used to be called Middleton, but Joseph had it all demolished and rebuilt in it's present location. He did not want the villagers living  too close to his new big grand house.

He enlisted 'Capability' Brown to help him. His house is now Milton Abbey School a co-educational boarding and day school for students aged from 13-18.

Change happens for many reasons. Damers 1st school will be re-located, just as Middleton was many years previously.

 My daughter still sings in a choir, she is in fact studying for a music degree. She remembers having very cold feet at Milton Abbey but it obviously did not  put her off!

Link to news article about the new school at Poundbury (from Dorset Echo)

Link to Damers First School

Link to the history of Milton Abbey School

Link to the choir that my daughter is now a member of.

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