Pilsden Pen and Lewesdon Hill
the highest points in Dorset -"Tall Pilsdon Pen is a
foretaste of the Tors of Devon, treeless and formed on decaying
granite, but neighbouring Lewesdon Hill, until recently thought to
be 15 feet shorter, but now measured to be taller, "
fact, a star
in the Earth's night sky. The name "Sirius" is derived
from the Ancient
...... What the naked eye
perceives as a single star is actually a binary
Pilsdon Pen is a foretaste of the Tors of Devon, treeless
and formed on decaying granite, but neighbouring Lewesdon
Hill, until recently thought to be 15 feet shorter, but now
measured to be taller, has all the character of a Dorset
height, curvaceous and green. Both look south with Channel
Pilsdon is crowned with an Iron Age
fortification, and Lewesdon is the highest peak of Dorset
and both hills stand guard on the north slopes of the lush
Hill fort on Pilsdon Pen was excavated in the 1960's
revealing late Iron Age huts, and parts of a probably
medieval rabbit warren. The rectangular mounds inside the
fort are pillow mounds, constructed for rabbits to breed in
The tiny village of Pilsdon has
the narrowest possible approach roads between high hedges
down the side of the Marshwood Vale. The village still basks
in the ancient glory in that it has a house where a Royalist
judge, Sir Hugh Wyndham, lived. At the battle of Worcester,
the future King Charles II fled from the field and his
pursuers came to this house thinking he was hiding there.
They ransacked it as Sir Hugh fumed and raged in
Intelligence was at fault, the prince being at Sir Hugh's
nephew's house at Trent.
The little church of St. Mary is of undistinguished
Victorian origins and is a chapel to the large 17th century
manor house which lies beyond. The house is constructed in
such a way that the front appears to be composed entirely of
Nearby is Racedown Farm where Wordsworth first started to
write seriously, and the Pildson Pen consoled his sister
Dorothy, who pined for her Lakeland Hills.
Anning was born in Lyme Regis in 1799. Her
discoveries of dinosaur fossils along the Jurassic
Coast were ground-breaking at the time and laid the
foundations for much of our knowledge of dinosaurs.
was known as "Princess of palaeontology". Each year
the Philpott Museum holds a special Mary Anning
weekend of events to commemorate her life.