Park at the
then walk across the
to Sandways Bridge. It was built at the end of the 18th century. The bricks were probably fired at Notton just along the drove to Maiden Newton from Tertiary clays
Walk across the Millennium Green and turn right over Sandway Bridge. As you walk up the lane toward West Lodge you cross a man made waterway. It is still used to feed the lake in the garden of The Court. West Lodge was possibly originally a pigeon house for the estate. Built of Portland Stone it has long been a private residence. If you turn right in to Southover you will see an old house alongside the road. Just before it is the drive to what was a wood working mill. The sluice is still there and the water roars over the drop into the mill stream you crossed earlier. There were two mills at Southover but the Corn mill has long gone. The old house has brick gate pillars probably from Broadmayne. The house itself it is built from a variety of materials. The little cottages further on are of chalk block and flint. The chalk will have come from one of the hard bands which occur in the chalk, the flints will have come off the fields. They make a pleasing pattern, popular in the 18th century.
Now return and start through the Park. Several fine houses can be seen of various styles of architecture. Frampton House stands on what was the site of an ancient Friary, built by French monks fleeing persecution in the 14th century. It has gone through many modifications since then including being the grand house of the local squire. Further on to the right what was once a splendid farm yard is falling into rack and ruin.
Keep straight on to the three lime trees and then turn left. You are heading for the river again and another bridge. This is Peacock Bridge, (late 18th C) attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, though he was long dead by the time it was built, but certainly elegant enough to have been designed by him. The main structure is of Portland Stone but it is all supported on Broadmayne brick. The grove of trees in the field to your left is almost certainly where the river used to run before the squire improved his approach to the house. When the river is high it attempts to return to its former path
The Park has some fine specimen trees planted some 200 years ago. A mighty oak fell during the 1987 gales as did many beeches. The dairy cows often seen in the fields are Friesians though at one time there were also Jersey cows near West Lodge, producing cream to go with the succulent raspberries previously grown nearby. Just down stream from Peacock Bridge is a weir and below that there were eel traps. The eels used to go off to London from Grimstone Station along with the produce of the water cress beds close by at Grimstone. There is also a
pill box by the weir, one of several scattered around the area. You will pass the one on the right as you near Peacock Lodge, again enhanced to improve the entrance. Almost cer Almost certainly originally a brick built lodge it has Portland Stone 'cladding', pillars, interesting windows and a crest. The gateway, unfortunately, is a little narrow for today's vehicles and has suffered several knock downs.
Cross the road carefully to the new pavement and turn left back toward the village. The first interesting building is another original lodge which has since been a shop, post office, tea rooms, a framing studio but is now a private residence. Built of Broadmayne (Dorchester) brick with Hamstone (from Somerset) window frames it is a handsome building with a Brownes' heraldic crest under the eaves. If you look at it from the roadside you can see where it has been extended and 'turned round' at various times as the brickwork doesn't quite match.
Behind all the houses as far as the church, the south facing chalk slopes are home to a wide variety of flora ansd fauna such blue butterflies. Further along, past Frampton Garage, there is an ancient building which has a splendid, possibly, Tudor ceiling cut through many years ago to make a separate dwelling out of part of it. The walls are made of many sorts of stone, some of which must have been recycled from the original buildings in the Park.
Chalk is evident in cob cottages. Flint, of course is also used, here in two small cottages and in what was once the Estate forge. Unusually it had two forges in the one building, evidence of the busy village that Frampton once was. The village shop pictured in thre 1960s has long gone, of course.
The parish church of St Mary's is well worth a look at especially the interior which has many fine monuments. As with many ancient buildings it has been much modified over the centuries.
Estate cottages are mostly built of whatever came off the fields. The Almhouses and the former Reading Room, however, are rather more carefully constructed to reflect their importance in the Squire's grand scheme of things.
Beyond the Reading Room a row of cottages stands well back from the road. They were built when the railway came through in the 1850s. The Old School House and Well Cottage straddle the driveway to a private house which was originally built as
From the village car park it is also possible to take a short walk through
across the hall patio.
On Sunday afternoons in August,
are served in the village hall. Try out the teas after your walk.