Parish church of St John the Baptist

Parish church of St John the Baptist

The Old Rectory is reputed to be on of the largest rectories in England, it was built in two phases at the beginning and end of the 18th Century. It was such a rich living that the rector at the time even boasted his own pack of hounds and the kennels can still be seen. An engraving of the house dated 1799 was published in the History of Dorset by John Hutchins.

The small River Simene passes through the parish. A tributary stream also wanders through the village itself, coming from a spring that is believed still to have healing properties. In the medieval age, people from miles around came to bathe their eyes, that were then allegedly healed. There is an old road from the sea through the village, that used to take pilgrims to the shrine of St Wite at Whitchurch Canonicorum.
(Source: Wikipedia)

The main part of the house was built in 1730 whilst the two wings were added in 1814.

Inside the basement, apart from the wine cellar and meat store, there is also a dungeon!
(Source: www.symondsbury.info)

Over the years visitors here include Thomas Hardy, William Barnes and more recently Mick Jagger, Jack Straw and Eric Clapton.