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Dorset Strange Place Names

Dorset has some unusual and strange place names. There’s Pug’s Hole, Sweet Apple Farm & Custard Hill. Names include:

Barbers Piles – Poole. It was bombed by the Germans during World War II

Brandy Bay – Isle of Purbeck, where smugglers brought their illicit barrels ashore during 17th & 18th centuries.

Clapgate – near Wimborne.

Doghouse Lane – Chideock.

Dungy Head – near West Lulworth.

Goathorn Close – Poole.

Glue Hill – Sturminster Newton. Apparently, there is a sign urging pedestrians to 'stick to the pavement!’

God’s Blessing Lane – Colehill. Apparently so called, because Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers were blessed there prior to assaulting Corfe Castle.

Hell Bottom – West Dorset.

Knacker’s Hole – near Okeford Fitzpaine.

Knights in the Bottom – near Chickerell.

Labour-in-Vain – near East Bexington.

Minterne Magna – while Magna is Latin for ‘large’, Minterne means ‘house where mint grows.

Mutton Street Lane – Marshwood.

Old Harry – sea stack near Studland. Old Harry was another name for the devil. Until the 1890s, there was another sea stack called ‘Old Harry’s wife.

Pug’s Hole – Bournemouth.

Pulham Down – near Sherborne.

Red Bottom – Burton Bradstock. Legend has it that the good folk of Burton Bradstock overcame some Danish invaders here around the year, 1002. Here allegedly there is a dip which ‘ran deep with Danish blood.’

Ryme Intrinseca – south of Yeovil.

Scratch Arse Ware & Dancing Ledge – despite its name, this is a stunning area in Purbeck and popular with walkers.

Shitterton – near Bere Regis, means a ‘stream once used as a sewer.

Sweet Apple Farm & Custard Hill – a delightfully sweet Gussage All Saints combination.

Winterborne Came – while the county has many Winterbornes, Came is a corruption of ‘Caen’. It once belonged to St Stephen of Caen in Normandy.


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