Colmers Hill Bridport.

Written by Steven Powell. Posted in Bridport Photography

The main landmark in the village of Symondsbury is the distinctive Colmer’s Hill,It is highly visible from the main street in Bridport and all roads into the town, its significance extends back to around AD 987. The village has a pub The Ilchester Arms, which is a 15th century village inn, its own pottery and also a wonderful primary school. The Doomsday Book suggests that ownership of the West Bay area around the 11th Century was split between Symondsbury, holding the west bank for the Abbey of Cerne and Burton Bradstock holding the east bank for the Crown. However, medieval records indicate disputes over both beach and harbour involving a third party upstream on the River Brit for the Borough of Bridport. The ‘Right of Wreck’ was always a contentious issue, the Abbot of Cerne and the Prior of Frampton for Burton Bradstock often took legal action against the ‘Borough of Bridport’ for removing wrecks from the shore of Bridport harbour. Currently The village is still the head of Symondsbury Parish which extends from the village of Eype and West bay in the south, to the Marshwood Vale in the north. The village is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. By the mid 18th Century, cider production had become very popular, apple orchards were prolific in the surrounding areas of Bridport, Symondsbury, Chideock and Beaminster. Many orchards were attached to houses and cottages, In 1999 the Apple Project was set up by two local families in order to restore an old cider orchard in Symondsbury, Dorset. colmershill landscape The two families were dismayed that trees laden with fruit where going to waist as all the fruit was destined for a compost bin. later in 2004/5 The Symondsbury Apple Project undertook research into Dorset’s Orchard and cider history discovering that in the Symondsbury parish there were over 100 acres of orchard in 1839. Only a couple of small production orchards still exist, with the remains of a handful of others. In the charter of Cerne Abbey, it was stated that ‘Aeschere’ is the ancient name of Symondsbury. When the Vikings invaded from Scandinavia the local villagers lit beacons as a warning. legend has it that a Viking chief called ‘Sigismund’ landed and saw the beacon on Colmer’s Hill and announced it would be called ‘Sigismund’s Berg’ Later it became known as Symondsbury.  

Colmers Hill in Dorset, England, one and a half miles west of Bridport town.

  Colmers Hill takes its name from the “Colmer Tenement”, This family were tenants of the Dukes of Somerset and Earls of Ilchester,Then in the 17th and 18th Centuries and the Rev. John Colmer was the rector from 1805-06. It was during World War I that Caledonian Pine trees were planted on the summit by Major W P Colfox MC, which I can assume is a tribute to when the Vikings had invaded. Colmers Hill is now an iconic subject for artists and photographers alike and is much loved by all who live near it .

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