Shillingstone Station

Shillingstone station lies between Blandford and Sturminster Newton stations on the line from Evercreech junction to Wimborne. The station was opened 1863 by the Somerset and Dorset Railway although the station was built by the Dorset Central Railway.  It is the last surviving Dorset Central Railway station and as such is important from both architectural and historical perspectives.

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Cleeve Abbey

Cleeve Abbey is a medieval monastery near the village of Washford in Somerset and was founded in 1191 as a house for monks of the austere Cistercian order. The abbey was not among the more distinguished abbeys of the Cistercian order and suffered from poor governance and financial troubles. Although towards the end of its existence its fortunes, and living standards, had improved. A fact demonstrated by the expensive high status tiled flooring it had gained by then, some of which has amazingly managed to survive.

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Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury.  Today the name is probably best known for its annual music festival, and possibly for having more New Age shops in its High Street than any other town in Britain. But that’s not what this post is going to be about.

What we’re going to explore is the imposing ruins behind the High Street, the remaining fragments of what was, in its day, one of the wealthiest and most powerful abbeys in Britain.

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Bodiam Castle

At the current terminus of the Kent and East Sussex Railway is the town of Bodiam.  This small town has an impressive castle, built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II. The castle has no keep and all the rooms and chambers are built around the outer defensive wall.  This was characteristic of castle architecture in the 14th century.

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