Wareham Walls, the River Piddle and a 6th Birthday

Thursday 12th September 2013

Yes, today Jezebel is 6 years old. Well, it might not be her exact birthday – we only knew roughly the week she was born in, so we chose a birthday for her in that week. Of course in doggy years she’s a lot older, so she celebrated like the 30-something she is and stayed in bed until 3pm.

That meant just Max and I went for our morning walk, so we tried a new walk. This was one that one of our followers / doggie friends, Elsa, told us about: the River Piddle out at Wareham. To be honest I have walked along it before, but it was around 25 years ago when the sub-aqua club I belonged to had a duck race there.

Of course, I made the mistake of choosing market day in Wareham, so all the car parks were busy, but we did find a space in the parking alongside the west walls.

West Walls, Wareham

A word of explanation here. Wareham was a large, Anglo Saxon town, which was surrounded on 3 sides by earth ‘walls’, which are still standing today. These fortifications were to protect the local population against the Vikings.  These fortified towns were known as Burhs, and by about 900AD Wareham was the 4th largest burh in the kingdom of Wessex. These earth ramparts still survive today, and that is what you can see in the photo, which was taken outside the walls.

This next shot shows a view along the north wall.

North Wall, Wareham

And this is a view from the junction of the north and west walls, looking over the River Piddle, which was to be our walk for today.

River Piddle from the North Walls

Max started off as a very happy dog – he had a new river to play in.

Max in the River Piddle, Wareham

Sadly there were only a couple of places where he could get in, so he got very frustrated. This is the river looking towards West  Mills, which is the other side of the Wareham bypass from the town.

West Mills from the River Piddle

And this is West Mills itself…

West Mills

… and one of it’s old millstones.

Millstone, West Mills

This view is looking down the river from the weir at the end of the old mill race, where you cross the river.

Looking down the River Piddle from West Mills

From there on we walked through a very muddy field and a herd of cows in order to get back to Wareham, where I took this photo looking back down onto the river.

View from the North Wall

We were almost back where we started at this point, so as we hadn’t taken very long we walked on around the walls.

In the north east corner of the walls is an area called Bowling Green, which was used centuries ago both to play bowls and for archery practice. The town’s weekly market and annual fair was also held there from the 13th century onwards. During the 19th century the fairs and market gradually moved to the Quay, where they are held today.

Bowling Green

These cottages along the east walls caught my eye, especially because of all of the nest boxes.

Cottages, Wareham

And this little cottage is opposite the church of Lady St Mary, which originally dates from 700AD. I had Max with me today so couldn’t really take any photos of the church, but I will go back there at some point with the better camera.

Thatched Cottage, Wareham

After the church comes the Quay, where people were relaxing out in the sun.

Wareham Quay

After that we headed back up through the town to the car. I wanted to go into the Tourist Information Office, but they don’t allow dogs and there is no where outside to leave them. Obviously they don’t want people with dogs knowing about their town!

So onto the afternoon, and after she eventually got up and had been for a walk with Chris and Max, we were able to celebrate Jez’s birthday.

Here she is investigating one of her presents.

Now what might this be?

And playing with Chris.

Time to play with the presents

Max thought he’d try his hand (or is that mouth?) at a bit of product placement.

Max gets the hand of product placement

And after all that there were the cupcakes I’d made earlier: vanilla cupcakes with lemon buttercream for Chris and I, and peanut butter cupcakes for the dogs.

Jez's birthday cupcakes

All in all it was a pretty good day.


One thought on “Wareham Walls, the River Piddle and a 6th Birthday

  1. Wow…So Jezebel is 6 today…Happy birthday Jezebel!!!! He is handsome and very sweet…And what a treat..peanut butter cupcakes!!!!!

    I also loved reading your post and the photographs are so fresh!!! I was in the UK for 4 years before moving to Germany and I love the British countryside…

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