Wynford Eagle

Wynford Eagle

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Wynford Eagle
map_type = Dorset
latitude= 50.761
longitude= -2.595
population = <100
shire_district= West Dorset
shire_county= Dorset
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= West Dorset
post_town= Dorchester
postcode_district = DT2
postcode_area= DT
dial_code= 01305
os_grid_reference= SY581959

Wynford Eagle is a hamlet and small parish in Dorset, anciently in the hundred of Tollerford, and now in the District of West Dorset, 1.4 miles to the south west of Maiden Newton and 7.5 miles to the north west of Dorchester.

The parish contains barrows, and Roman remains have been unearthed here, including mosaic pavements, which have led to its identification as a villa site.

The name "Eagle" commemorates the mediaeval lords, the family "de l'Aigle" ("de Aquila").

The manor house, now "Manor Farm", rebuilt in 1630, was from 1551 for many years the seat of the Puritan Sydenham family, to which belonged the distinguished physician Thomas Sydenham (1624&ndash;1689). The family lost the property in scandalous circumstances, the last Sydenham owner dying in Dorchester prison in 1709.

The estate was later acquired by the Best family, originally of Somerset, to whom in 1829 the village gave the title of Baron Wynford. The same family remain the principal landowners.

The church of Saint Lawrence, formerly a chapelry of the church of Toller Fratrum, and later annexed to it as a perpetual curacy, was rebuilt in 1842 but preserves a striking Norman tympanum, carved with two wyverns, probably intended to represent eagles, as a pun on the name of Matilda de l'Aigle, who presumably commissioned it, according to one of the two inscriptions; the other names the sculptor, Alvy or Alvi.

External links

* [http://www.ukvillages.co.uk/ukvillages.nsf/villages/Wynford+Eagle-Dorset Village page for Wynford Eagle]
* [http://www.dorsethistoricchurchestrust.co.uk/wynford_eagle.htm Dorset Historic Churches Trust: pictures]

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