The 11 cottages that form Luccombe Country Holidays are located in a hidden valley tucked away…
There’s been an abbey in this attractive spot since the first century, founded originally by Athelstan, and by the 16th century it was large and prosperous, with a small town alongside. After the dissolution in 1539 the estate fell into the hands of John Tregonwell, and in 1752 was sold to Joseph Damer. He knocked down the remaining village and relocated it out of sight at Milton Abbas, in order to build his mansion – now a private school. The magnificent, fan-vaulted abbey church remained, though in poor order until the mid-19th century, when architect George Gilbert Scott was employed to restore it. It now serves as the school’s chapel, and is open to visitors. The Tregonwell tombs are of interest, but the Damer Monument, with sculpted marble figures designed by Robert Adam, is remarkable, and well worth seeing.
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About the area
Dorset means rugged varied coastlines and high chalk downlands. Squeezed in among the cliffs and set amid some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery is a chain of picturesque villages and seaside towns. Along the coast you’ll find the Lulworth Ranges, which run from Kimmeridge Bay in the east to Lulworth Cove in the west. Together with a stretch of East Devon, this is Britain’s Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, noted for its layers of shale and numerous fossils embedded in the rock. Among the best-known natural landmarks on this stretch of the Dorset coast is Durdle Door, a rocky arch that has been shaped and sculpted to perfection by the elements. The whole area has the unmistakable stamp of prehistory.
Away from Dorset’s magical coastline lies a landscape with a very different character and atmosphere, but one that is no less appealing. Here, winding, hedge-lined country lanes lead beneath lush, green hilltops to snug, sleepy villages hidden from view and the wider world. The people of Dorset are justifiably proud of the achievements of Thomas Hardy, its most famous son, and much of the county is immortalised in his writing.
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