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.