The Sarcophagus


The Sarcophagus

The Parish Council of Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle has been the grateful recipient of a donation of a Sarcophagus by a generous Parishioner. This interesting artefact has been safely installed in the foyer of Briantspuddle Village Hall.

This is its interesting story;

The child’s sarcophagus is Romano-British and about two thousand years old. Said to have been removed from Affpuddle/Bryantspuddle/Throop Heath, probably just before the 2nd World War, when the Army were using the Heath for training purposes with Tanks etc., where it was being used as a Parish Boundary stone.  It was brought down to Bryantspuddle and put outside the Wheelwright’s Shop to be used as a trough for quenching the steel rims onto the wagon wheels. The Wheelwright’s Shop adjoined the Blacksmith’s Forge and Shop, both being part of the Debenham’s Bladen Estate, but are now outhouse and garage for Bridge House.

In 1952 when the Estate was sold, the village District Nurse, Hetty Scott, who lived in Tolpuddle, ‘rescued’ the ‘trough’ and took it home and grew flowers in it. When she became too old to look after herself she went to live with her brother Dr Tom Scott and his wife in Newbury, Berkshire, taking the ‘trough’ with her. When she died the Scotts kept the trough, and it then travelled round Berkshire for the next few years with them, eventually ending up back in Dorset after Tom Scott’s death, and his wife wanting to be near her daughter. After some years she went into a nursing home in Lyme Regis and she rang up and suggested that the trough came home. So after fifty years journeying it is back where it started from…the incredible coincidence being that we, who knew the Scotts well, (in fact Tom brought me into this world in Newbury) live at Bridge House!

Sue Taylor

23 January 2014