12 Walks of Christmas - Day 8 - Sherborne
Mark Lewis
By Mark Lewis

January 2020

12 Walks of Christmas - Day 8 - Sherborne

Partner Mark Lewis leads us on a 'Walk without Wellies' through the Abbey town of Sherborne, pointing out many historic buildings en-route.

Sherborne is one of Dorset’s most popular and attractive market towns and a walk around with good walking boots can be a treat. Just remember to pop into our office and say hello!

If you can find a space park near the railway station near the Pageant gardens and walk down Digby Road. Pass Digby House– this magnificent building built in 1869 was formerly the Digby Hotel but has been a School boarding house since 1962. Briefly turn left down Cooks Lane to see the Digby Tap pub (where we always go after our property auctions - hopefully to celebrate a successful sale) which stands on the site which housed the work house between 1749 and 1838.  Walk to the end of Digby Road (passing the Tourist Information Centre on the left) to reach the junction of Trendle Street and Half Moon Street where you will see our office which enjoys one of the best views of any building in the firm.

Look to the left and see the Almshouse of St John the Baptist founded by the Licence of King Henry VI in 1437 to house 17 poor men and women. In exchange for full board, lodging and clothing, the people had to surrender their possessions and abide by the religious rules of the house. Continue around Abbey Close into the Abbey Church. On exiting, continue to the right of the Abbey beneath the 18th-century vertical sundial and follow the path along Church Lane and under the Abbey Gate. Walking under the arch, Sherborne Museum is on the right and continue onto the Parade.

Turn left after the conduit and walk up the west (left) side of Cheap (Cheap meaning Market) Street. Opposite Barclays Bank and set back through an alleyway is Cheap Street Church. If you time your visit you may find an afternoon concert by musicians from the schools. Back on Cheap Street look out for the 16th-century Abbeylands house – a rare surviving example of a period half-timbered house with an over-hanging first floor.

 Walking to the top of Higher Cheap Street, the road opens out to The Green. Although not actually a green area it was the site of St Thomas’ Fair also known as the ‘Green’ or ‘Gooseberry’ Fair until it was abolished in 1888.

Returning back down Cheap Street, on the left side pass The George pub built on the site of a Tudor inn; an adjoined Tudor archway survives connecting the George to the Julian – a medieval ham stone building which was originally the Hospice of Saint Julian of Norwich.

Turn left into Newland.  A few paces along, on the left is the Manor House, the remnants of a 15th-century building which now houses Sherborne Town Council.  Much of the front of the building is 19th-century but on the first floor is a mediaeval oriel window.

Cross the road from the Manor House to The Paddock Gardens – originally the tennis courts for Lord Digby’s School and we hope to see a state-of-the-art building in due course celebrating local artists.

 In 2005 the area was turned into a tranquil garden to celebrate 1300 years since the founding of Sherborne. Return to Cheap Street, turn left and continue downhill past the Gold Post Box. Royal Mail celebrated UK Olympic and Paralympic gold medal winners by painting their local post box gold. Peter Wilson MBE from Sherborne was the Gold Medal winner for his performance in the Double Trap shooting.

Continue to the bottom of Cheap Street and follow the road as it veers right into Half Moon Street to see Church House Gallery, a long-house built between 1530 and 1534 with a row of shops at street level and Parish Hall above

 Return to parking by walking along Half Moon Street, past our office and back into Digby Road.  Hopefully you have stopped for a drink at one of the many cafes and pubs along the way.

If you'd like this walk to be on your doorstep, take a look at the wonderful selection of property we are currently offering within the town. 

Part of the details of this walk appeared in Dorset Life as written by Theresa Rabbetts.

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