Friday, 15 June 2012

What's in a name?

Whilst our trip to Mark Hix was a foodies delight, the rest of the weekend food experience was less convincing.  We rolled down to breakfast at 9.45 to find that they stopped serving at 9.30.  This was somewhat less than pleasing, and made me reflect on the rules laid down in traditional English seaside B&Bs by their fearsome landladies. Our search for food afterwards was no more vision of village of village llined with tea shops selling delightful pots of the finest English brew alongside cucumber sandwiches and scones with strawberries and cream proved to be somewhat wide of the mark - especially the closer we got to Portland and Weymouth.  It turns out that even the crab shack at the rough end of Chesil Beach remains closed at the beginning on Mondays and Tuesdays.  We ended up with a sandwich from a Shell garage, which did at least have a Costa Coffee machine.  We supped and dined in the car park.

However do not let it be said that our disappointment overshadowed the reason for our trip through the Dorset countryside.  The happy coincidence of a trip to Lyme Regis had afforded us the opportunity of visiting the village of Burton Bradstock.  The sharp-eyed will spot an uncanny resemblance between the name of the village and the url of my blog.  Bradstock is indeed our family name...on my mother's, mother's side.  So it has long been an ambition of mine to visit the place from which it is believed our name comes. The village is a pretty a place as you can imagine - the ideal English village.  And it has a very long history indeed.   "In Saxon days, the village was called Brideton or Bridetone meaning the village of the river Bride which evolved to Bridetona as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Bradstock came from Bradenstoke named after Bradenstoke Priory in Wiltshire to which the village once belonged. The present name appears to be a corruption of the two names."  If you would like to know more about the Priory, click here.  There were even some thatchers up on the roof of one of the cottages - not a sight you see often...and a fantastic skill that is at the heart of the English village .

I was curiously over-excited by the prospect of a village which at best I have only a very loose link with, and The Cat's Mother and I thoroughly enjoyed our short visit.  I even signed the visitors book in the church - something I would never normally do.  I took some pictures.