1 family, 5324 historic attractions and counting ... the Britain Express family - passionate about British heritage!
Britain Express Dorset Travel Guide - Attractions - Batcombe
Places to go in Dorset and the UK.
 Travel Guides : England | Scotland | Wales | London   |  Accommodation | History



Towns and Villages Gazetteer

All attractions
  Attractions map
Ancient Sites
Family attractions
Historic Buildings
Historic Churches
Historic Houses

Travel Resources
Tourist Information Centres
Travel links

Dorset Hotels
Bed & Breakfast
Self Catering

. . . . . . . . . .



 Bed & Breakfast
 Self catering

Travel Services
 Rail Tickets
 Car Rental
Tourist Info Centres
Travel Directory
 Tour Operators
 Car Rental
 Walking Holidays
 Waterways  Holidays

 Photo of the Day
 Heritage Traveller

 About us


Batcombe, Dorset

History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation


HERITAGE RATING: Heritage Rating  ?

Batcombe is a small village on the slopes of the Dorset Downs. Above the village rises Batcombe Down, at the top of which is a stone pillar known as The Cross-in-Hand. The pillar was used to dramatic effect in Thomas Hardy's novel, 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'. It is said that some who see the Cross can view a ghostly hand grasping a the bowl at the top of the pillar.

The parish church of St Mary is worth noting; it is mainly 15th century with later Victorian rebuilding, and it features a carved 12th century font. One of the four pinnacles atop the tower is crooked.

That in itself is not noteworthy, but the tale how the pinnace came to be crooked is worth telling!

It seems that the Batcombe squire, known locally as 'Conjuring Minterne', was suspected by villagers of being a magician. One day the squire attempted to leap over the tower on his horse. He made it, but knocked the pinnacle askew in the attempt. The fearful villagers were afraid that they might offend the devil by repairing the damage, so for a hundred years they left it alone. When it was repaired, they repaired it at a crooked angle. Take the tale as you will, but it does add interest to an otherwise ordinary architectural feature!

About Batcombe
Address: Batcombe, Dorset, England
Attraction Type: Village
Location map
OS: ST 6136 0389


HeritageWe've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.

Historic Time Periods:


Find other attractions tagged with:

12th century (Time Period) - 15th century (Time Period) - Victorian (Time Period) -


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

Stockwood, St Edwold Church - 2.6 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Minterne Gardens - 2.9 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

Cerne Abbas Giant - 3.5 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Nether Cerne, All Saints Church - 4.6 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Mapperton Gardens - 7.3 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

Sherborne Castle - 8 miles (Historic House) Heritage Rating

Sherborne Abbey Church - 8.1 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Sherborne Old Castle - 8.2 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating

Nearest Accommodation to Batcombe:     Self Catering   -   B&Bs/Guesthouses   -   Hotels

    Nearest Self Catering Cottages

  More self catering near Batcombe

Show self catering cottages near Batcombe

    Nearest Hotels

    More Hotels near Batcombe

Show bed and breakfasts near Batcombe

   Nearest Bed and Breakfasts

  More bed and breakfasts near Batcombe

  Attraction search
  Find in



Name the Historic attraction

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image

British Heritage Awards

Celebrate the best of British Heritage in our annual
British Heritage awards.

View this year's winners.

British History Quiz

This wandering priest was leader of the Peasant's Revolt of 1381. He made famous the rhyming couplet, 'When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman'


This Day in British History

31 March, 1854

Britain declares war on Russia

British troops had already left Britain for the Crimea

Monarch Mayhem

This king defeated Guthrun the Dane at the Battle of Edington


Featured Historic House:

Brynbella Garden
Brynbella Garden
Tremeirchion, Clwyd, Wales

Some Historic Houses Association properties:

Dunrobin Castle
Rockingham Castle
Sherborne Castle
Traquair House