Roman Gardens

Chinese Dragon Lanterns, Snowdrop Tiles and Roman Gardens

By Friday 01 March Shaftesbury & District Historical Society Trustee Claire Ryley will have contributed to three educational events in ten days. At Gold Hill Museum on Wednesday 20 February, 10a.m. till noon, the education team from Gold Hill and Shaftesbury Abbey Museums will be helping workshop participants make Chinese Dragon Lanterns. On Thursday 21 February 10a.m. till noon it’s a clay workshop making Galanthus dragons, snowdrop tiles and tealight holders. Both workshops cost £3 per head and are suitable for all ages; children must be accompanied by a responsible adult, with free admission for accompanying adults. Tickets in advance please from Bell Street Tourist Information Centre. Click here for details of other 2019 All Age Events.

On Friday 01 March at 7.30p.m. Claire will be giving an illustrated talk on Roman Gardens to members and guests of Shaston Gardening Association at Bell Street United Church Hall. Claire is the author of the splendid Roman Gardens and their Plants and as Education Officer at Fishbourne Roman Palace helped re-create the Roman garden there. Subsequently she appeared on the TV archaeology show Time Team as a Roman gardens consultant. Non-members are welcome on payment of £3 at the door.

Shillingstone Station

The Station They Never Closed – Lecture 2.30pm Tuesday 05 March

Shillingstone Station opened in 1863 lit by oil lamps and closed just over a century later, still without gas or electricity. Built by the Dorset Central Railway, it became part of the Somerset and Dorset Junction Railway which provided a through route from Bath to Bournemouth. From 1910 The Pines Express gave holidaymakers from Manchester and the North direct access to the South Coast. Unusually for a small country station Shillingstone boasted a canopy, giving shelter to King Edward VII when alighting to visit his friends the Ismays at Iwerne Minster.

In February 1915 war poet Rupert Brooke marched with colleagues of the Hood Naval Battalion from Blandford Camp to entrain for Avonmouth and Gallipoli. It was easier to load the Battalion’s mules at Shillingstone rather than at Blandford. Brooke, well known for such lines as: Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea? died from septicaemia following an infected mosquito bite off Greece.

In 1966 Dr Beeching’s axe fell on the Somerset and Dorset line. The track was lifted in 1967; since 2005 volunteers of the North Dorset Railway Trust have been working to restore the station and some of the track. Jack Bath, Curator, and fellow Trustee David Caddy will tell the story of The Station They Never Closed (officially) at 2.30pm on Tuesday 05 March. This illustrated talk is free to members of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society while non-members may pay £3 at the door.