Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Ansty, A Spring Day.

Ansty is a village to the west of Salisbury and south of Tisbury.The Knights Hospitaller settled in Ansty in 1211 and built the church which was finished in 1230. They also built a preceptory adjacent to the church, the building there now is 'modern', dating from only 1596.
The village is well worth a visit, it is surely one of the most beautiful in England with thatched cottages, stream and woodland.

Ansty is one of the few villages in England to have a permanent maypole. The present maypole is not as tall as formerly, due no doubt to Health and Safety regulations. I can remember seeing the erection of an earlier maypole as a child; it was all achieved by stout locals with ropes and not a member of the H & S Executive in sight. Not a single injury but I expect some sore heads the next day from the ensuing celebrations in the adjacent pub.

The pond, which dates from the same era as the church.

If you wish for a house in the country, this is one to aspire to.

The Church of St James, my eldest son was christened here, the latest in a long line of my family christened, married and buried here.

The modern replacement building for the 13th century preceptory.

I can remember seeing the blacksmith that used this building as a forge in the fifties put a red hot iron tyre on a cartwheel outside these doors amid clouds of smoke and steam; there was a large round metal dish in the ground to assist the operation. It has now gone, a victim of the passion to 'tidy up', and in so doing destroying a part of our history and heritage.

Opposite the building shown above is a modern house built in the nineteen sixties, a garage has been added since then, it is a fine example of how to build new in an old village. Behind is a lane which I remember using to collect thatching spars from the coppice to the left. The thatcher lived in the village and as a service used to cut the hair of the village men and boys.


Thud said...

A great collection of pics...sometimes I almost feel like staying in England but the next govt madness convinces me you wouldn't want a scouser to mess this amazing village up would you?

Anonymous said...

Great memories of Ansty. I also recall being at a new Maypole raising I think it must have been in the fifty's, my grand father being one of the men who helped. It ment rising early on the day as the old pole had to be taken down and the new one up on the same day. The pub mentioned was run by george & Betty Best. Interesting to see the picture of the "New building", my grand parents owned the plot and started to build a bungalow before selling it on.
Yes I have had some wonderful time on holidays as a young lad in Ansty