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Postcode for SatNavDT2 8DN
O.S. Landranger Map reference194-790831

Abbotsbury

 

CHALDON HERRING 

St Nicholas

 

This is an interesting and attractive church in a delightful little village.  The unusual name is probably derived from the old English 'Calvedon', which means "the hill where calves are pastured" and the C12 manorial family 'Harang' whose family crest includes herrings.  This family also gave their name to Herrison, Langton Herring and Winterborne Herringston.

Originally, there was also a church at Chaldon Boys, but its closeness persuaded the Bishop to amalgamate the two parishes under one Curate in 1446.  The exact C12 origins of the present building appear to be obscure, however it is certain that the north wall and tower belong to the C14, although the tower was not completed until the C15.  As usual, the Victorians could not resist a major rebuild and G.R.Crickmay of Weymouth was retained to design and oversee the work in 1878.  It is to his great credit that the alterations were done with such sensitivity that it was possible to incorporate the genuine medieval windows and arches in the final structure.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©


 

The church has two fonts.  The plain cylindrical C12 font was turned up by the plough in a field in West Chaldon, near the site of a now lost church or chapel at Chaldon Boys (bois probably) and replaced in the church in 1897.  There is evidence of a hinge mounting that would have supported a lockable cover to deter the unauthorised use of Holy Water for sacrilegious purposes. The second font, although rather splendid, is clearly Victorian and presumably installed around the time of the restoration.  There are several examples in the county of ancient fonts being thrown-out by the Victorians, who felt their design was inappropriate (see Kimmeridge and Beaminster).

Note the attractive organ with pipes to the ground.  Also the wooden pulpit with a curved stone stairway to it and a truly magnificent central heating radiator.