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Day 3 - Wareham to Monkton Wyld

50 Miles

Cycling through or cycling along -  The Hardy Way; Dorchester; Maiden Castle; Bridport & The Monarch's Way

Monkton Wyld lies less than 3 miles due North of Lyme Regis as the crow flies, but over 5 miles by the steep, winding roads that climb from sea level up into the lush hills and woodland on the border between Dorset and Devon. ‘Monkton’ means ‘of the monks’, a reference to past ownership of land here by Forde Abbey. ‘Wyld’, which seems to allude to the landscape, is in reality derived from the Old English ‘wil’ for ‘a wile, or a trick’ - probably ‘a snare, or a trap’ in this case as the woodlands here would have been ideal for poaching – with the final ‘d’ added sometime in the reign of Mary Tudor. The arrival in August 2010 of a postcard from South Africa after 53 years in transit could be seen as a metaphor for Monkton Wyld being of another era. It feels like a secret place, remote and hidden

Anciently a manor, and now a set of farms, there has never been a village here, but at a time when the rich and powerful could have a parish created at their pleasure and pack a church with their staff and tenants, Monkton Wyld had the great good fortune to benefit from the patronage of Mrs Dodson. Elizabeth Dodson (née Burdon, c1798-1883) was the wealthy widow of Charles Philip Dodson Esq. of Stainly Hall, Yorkshire. Perhaps the untimely death of her husband and all but one of her children made her pious, for she channelled her energies into having a chapelry carved out of Wotton Fitzpaine and Uplyme (Devon) and built the church, rectory, school and schoolmaster’s house almost entirely at her own expense. Source