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 ROUND ABOUT BEAMINSTER Beaminster is six miles to the north of Bridport, and is reached by a pleasant walk, passing on the way the little village of Melplash.
It is a sleepy country town, deeply seated among hills, near the head-waters of the Birt, which flows through it. It is a place of some , but not for much, if we except its sufferings by fire. In 1644, when Prince Maurice was quartered here, it was burnt completely to the ground, having been fired by a drunken soldier. The greater part of it was a second time destroyed in 1684, and again in 1788.
Very prominent of the Beaminster district are Pilsdon Pen and Lewesdon Hill, two of green sand remarkable for their to one another. The singularity of their appearance has naturally excited much attention. Sailors, whom they serve as a , call them the Cow and the ; the . William Crowe has sung the praises of Lewesdon in a descriptive poem, and the two hills together have given rise to a proverbial saying current in this country and to neighbours who are not acquainted:
"... as much
As Lew'son Hill to Pil'son Pen."
These hills command a charming , and Pilsdon is further interesting as the site of an ancient camp, of oval form, by three strong ramparts and ditches. It is the highest point in the county, nine hundred and thirty-four feet above the sea. Crowe's Lewesdon Hill was much admired by Rogers, who says in his Table Talk: "When travelling in Italy I made two authors my constant study for versification, Milton and Crowe."
Beaminster is in a centre of a district famous for its great dairies, flowers, bees and rural industries, and here is produced the famous Double Dorset and Blue Vinny cheese which has always a place on the table of the true Dorset family. The word "vinny" means mouldy; thus when the thinks his cheese is in a fine ripe condition he will be likely to remark: "This yer cheese is butvul now; tez vinnied through and through." The same word is also used in Devonshire for "bad-tempered," thus, "You vinnied little mullybrub, git out of my sight this minut!" The large dairies where the cheeses are made are called "soap factories" by the natives, and one frequently meets motor lorries grinding up the sharp hills beneath the burden of a hundred or so freshly pressed rounds of cheese.
In spite of the town's sufferings by fire the grand old church has fortunately always escaped. It is approached by a lane at the corner of the market-place. The pride of Beaminster is the old church tower, which was built in 1520. A native said to me: "Didee ever see zich a comfortable-looking old tower as that be, and I knaws you won't see more trinkrums on any church in the county." By "trinkrums" I suppose he meant the , and of delicate for which the gracious amber-coloured tower is justly famous. The church itself cannot vie with the tower for or m............
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