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Abbotsbury & the Swannery

<b>Abbotsbury & the Swannery</b>Posted by texlahomaImage © texlahoma
This rather unusual page is included as it features (as 'Bridport, Abbotsbury and the Swannery') as one of the entries in the original Modern Antiquarian book by Julian Cope.
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Appeal under way to save Iron Age treasure for Dorset

The Dorset County Museum is asking for help to raise £23,000 to buy the Chesil Mirror, found by a metal detectorist near Abbotsbury in 2010.

The copper alloy mirror is characteristic of the late Iron Age and is similar to the Portesham Mirror that is already part of the Dorchester museum's collection... continues...
texlahoma Posted by texlahoma
29th September 2012ce

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<b>Abbotsbury & the Swannery</b>Posted by formicaant <b>Abbotsbury & the Swannery</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>Abbotsbury & the Swannery</b>Posted by texlahoma <b>Abbotsbury & the Swannery</b>Posted by texlahoma


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Abbotsbury Garland-Day Procession stopped. Chief Constable's Apology to Parish Council.
The Daily Express of May 14, 1954, reported that the village constable of Abbotsbury had stopped the children's Garland-Day Procession as it danced its way through the fishing village to the sea, on the ground that it was "begging" and was against the law. He also confiscated the collection amounting to £1 1s. 7 1/2d. The uproar reached Mr. John Fox-Strangways, Chairman of the parish council and son of the Earl of Ilchester, lord of the manor. He rang up a solicitor and said that the village would take steps to preserve its ancient and picturesque custom. The Thanksgiving Garland is blessed annually and thrown into the sea from whence comes their livelihood. In the evening the children put the Garland on its pole and again danced down to the sea, while the police were busy preparing a legal action.

The Times of May 20 announced that the Chief Constable of Dorset had expressed his sincere apologies for the "unfortunate occurrence" to the Abbotsbury parish council and said that the constable had acted on his own initiative, without the knowledge of the divisional superintendent. "It is no part of my policy to interfere with old village customs," he stated. Mr. Fox-Strangways was authorised to take any necessary action to establish the legality of the Garland Day custom.
Proof that the Express has been complaining about Political Correctness for decades. p175 in Folk Life and Traditions
E. F. Coote Lake
Folklore, Vol. 65, No. 3/4. (Dec., 1954), pp. 172-175.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th March 2007ce
Edited 27th March 2007ce


Do we offer floral tributes to Neptune in England to-day? Yes, at Abbotsbury on the 13th May every year the children go round the village with large garlands, asking for gifts from the inhabitants. When the round has been completed, a start is made for the beach, the flowers are placed in boats, and put out to sea--not for Neptune to do as he likes with--for they are brought back again, taken to the church, where a service is gone through. Here then is an excellent instance of a Christianised pagan superstition, for the floral tributes, if Neptune is to be worshipped, should be committed to the waves. The idea was to propitiate the god and bring luck in fishing. In all probability the custom will linger for some years to come, but it is already robbed of its original significance, and shows some signs of decay in consequence. Maybe some modern pagan, interested in old customs, will induce the inhabitants to return to the old rite of trusting the floral gifts to Father Neptune.

danielspaniel Posted by danielspaniel
13th May 2005ce
Edited 18th March 2007ce


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People who know me often wonder why I travel the length and breadth of this great country of ours looking at ‘old stones’ – in all their forms. More to the point they often ask Karen how on earth she puts up with me and the travelling. To be fair, she usually defends our exploits on the grounds that we often go to very nice places and see wonderful scenery – Abbotsbury is a point in case.

Had it not been for the fact that I am trying to visit every E.H. site (Abbotsbury has two!) in all probability I would have never come here. But it does – and I did. And what a delightful place Abbotsbury is – very picturesque and charming. In addition to the cottages with thatched roofs, traditional country pub, village church etc it also has a Tithe Barn – something I have a ‘thing’ for. Not only that but also a swannery.

The view from the top of St Catherine’s hill is fabulous.
(Particularly on a gloriously sunny day like today with blue skies and white fluffy clouds)
You get to look over the village / church / Tithe Barn and great coastal views.
In short, if any of those who doubted why we do what we do were able to see what I was looking at while stood on the hill, perhaps they would then understand.

Abbotsbury is a great place to visit. The fact it has so many ‘old stones’ to look at in the area is a bonus. It is at times like this that you get a reminder of what a great hobby of ours this is and how fortunate we are to be ‘in the know’.
Posted by CARL
19th October 2012ce