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Thorncombe Village Trust


     Thorncombe Village Trust - caring for Thorncombe's environment

Thorncombe History

    Don’t forget that there now is a dedicated email address for all queries relating to Thorncombe history:

Thorncombe lies in a very beautiful part of West Dorset, bordering Devon and Somerset. It falls within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) . The Parish is over 5,200 acres in extent and is principally agricultural land.  

Fields tend to be small and hilly with ancient hedgerows, while the access roads to the village are very narrow lanes, shaded in summer by tall trees including oaks, beeches and sycamores, and fringed with primroses, bluebells and cow parsley.

                                             Applications for Grants from TVT

Under the terms of its amended constitution, Thorncombe Village Trust (TVT) is now able to invite applications for grants from individuals or organisations wishing to undertake a project or activity which reflects one or more of the aims of the Trust.

Namely  to:

i) encourage and promote a greater interest in, and understanding of, the local environment and its history

ii) protect historic buildings in the Parish and especially to conserve the character of the village of Thorncombe and of the other settlements in the Parish

iii) oppose unsuitable development in the Parish

iv) safeguard and enhance the countryside in the Parish.

The money granted must be used for the direct benefit of the Parish of Thorncombe only and for the public good, in such a manner and place that the Trustees can verify the grant has been appropriately used.

If you wish to make an application for funding, please request an application form in one of the following ways:

- Email the Secretary of the Trustees  on

- Pick up a form from inside the porch at The School House, Chard Street, Thorncombe (opposite the church)

- Download an application form and the guidelines from the TVT website         Application form   Guidelines for applications

Completed application forms need to be received by the end of September for an October decision and by  end of  February for a March decision by  the Board of  Trustees.

For any further information or if you have any questions, please talk to one of the trustees: Mark Agnew (30385), Kate Cahn (30054), John Higgs (30994), Richard Holt (30428), Mary Marsh (30139), Jan Walker (30212), John Whitbread (30525).

                  Thank you for looking at our website -  

            we have had over  9,600  visits  since we  started in 2012!

Have you got any old photos you could let us borrow? Or do you have  any memories of Thorncombe and the Parish that you could share with  us?

               Do get in touch - we’d love to hear from you

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If you missed this article, you can catch up here:

                                              Thorncombe’s Lost Roads and Hidden Holways

 Each of our circular walks is designed with time travel in mind. The TVT's latest - Walk 10 -  takes you on a journey back through the mists of  time, swooping back and forth between the dark ages and the 18th century before neatly dropping you back in the 21st century by your parked  car. Follow in the footsteps of  prehistoric hunter gatherers on their way to Pilsdon Pen  and drovers taking sheep and cattle to Thorncombe  market and beyond,  and find out how travellers avoided the toll houses at Birdsmoorgate and Thorncombe as they made their way across the  Axe Valley.


 Take a look at the article  and download Walk 10.



 New  to the site……. a fascinating article in the History section by Eve Higgs :

     1 & 2 Church View, Chard Street - Thorncombe’s ‘Great House’

In 1734 the charity school at School House, which gave the hamlet its name, burnt down. In a bid to reduce the burden on parish poor rate payers, a law had recently been passed compelling parishes to stop paying their rent and accommodate  able-bodied paupers and their families in workhouses, setting them to work to pay for their board and lodging.  Thorncombe’s three poorhouses weren’t big enough. So, killing two birds with one stone,  vicar Thomas Cook gave his ‘Great House’ to the parish for use as a schoolroom and workhouse.

Part of  ' Great House' still survives as 1 and 2  Church View, Chard Street. Eve Higgs set herself the task of drilling further back to find out what the house might have looked like before its third storey was added in 1752, through close analysis of the documentary evidence and examination of other research into surviving 17th century buildings in the south west. She also discussed her theory with a local expert to find out what ' Great House' might have looked like before it became a workhouse. According to architectural historian Bob Machin, while both properties have been extended and extensively renovated during the intervening centuries, surviving architectural features from the ground floor  inner rooms and kitchens linked to a 19th century plan of ‘Great House’. He suggests that the original house dated back to the late 16th century,  and was laid out along the lines of Chetnole Farm, near Sherborne, rebuilt during the mid 17th century and was built for a ' person of class'. …….

Read more here