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Cattistock is a village and civil parish in west Dorset, England, sited in the upper reaches of
the Frome Valley, 8 miles (13 km) northwest of the county town Dorchester.
The Dorset poet William Barnes called it "elbow-streeted Cattstock",
a comment on the less-than-linear village street.


The village contains various types of houses and cottages dating from the 15th century to the present day.
There is no Manor House, but Cattistock Lodge is a manor-type house due for conversion, near the modern rectory. There are more houses and bungalows on the approach road and in Kennel Lane.
The former farm buildings have been converted into four houses and a bungalow.
In Duck Street are more houses, a bungalow and the Pound House. The former rectory, now converted into flats, is in South Drive, together with several bungalows. The former army camp site is an estate of council houses and bungalows. The old primary school is now four houses.

A church was built here in the 12th century by the monks of Milton Abbey, though this structure has not survived. The current church, dedicated to
St Peter and St Paul was rebuilt in the 19th century by architects Sir George Gilbert Scott and his son George Gilbert Scott Junior.
The Perpendicular-styled tower was the work of the latter, and has led to the church being dubbed the 'Cathedral of the Frome Valley'; he was also responsible for the porch, north aisle and vestry. A carillon of 35 bells was installed in the new tower a few years after its construction. This was the first carillon to be introduced to England and attracted hundreds of visitors to the valley, though the bells were destroyed by a fire in the tower on 15 September 1940. The fire also destroyed the very large clock, which previously almost spanned the width of the tower. The a restored clock and a
peel of 8 bells has been recently installed. In 1972 the Pevsner guide to Dorset architecture said that "for the mid to late-nineteenth century,
this is the masterpiece amongst Dorset churches".

The Castle, an earthwork on Castle Hill 700 yards N.E. of the church, consists of an irregular oval enclosure of about 4¼ acres, formed by
steepening the natural slope of the hill-top and thus forming a berm; it has been suggested that this is entirely a natural formation.
There are two ramped causeway-entrances towards the N.E. and N.W. respectively. The surface of the enclosure rises to a point
on which is a much damaged mound, 50 ft. in diam. and 4 ft. high. About 50 yards to the north of the enclosure is a steep lynchet.

A Cultivation System and perhaps settlement, on Middle Hill ¾ m. E.N.E. of the church, consist of a series of banks, some of them well-defined, representing cultivation of the Celtic type. At one point south of the best preserved bank are slight traces of sixteen or more sinkings 3 to 5 yards in diam. and possibly representing hut-hollows. The sinkings shown further east on the Ordinance Survey have been destroyed by gravel-digging.
The cultivation-system extends into Lankham Bottom.

The Cattistock Hunt is a foxhound pack established the 18th century by the Rev. W. Philips.
The Kennels, Stables and Kennel houses are owned by Lord Digby and rented to the Hunt along with about 40 acres.
At present, 40 couples of hounds and 12 horses are maintained by the Hunt.
There are three Joint Masters, and staff consisting of Kennel Huntsman, 1st Whipper-in, 2nd Whipper-in, Kennelman; Terrierman/Fencer.
Head Girl Groom and three Gorl Grooms.
Linked by name to the Hunt is "H.M.S. Cattistock", a Hunt-class Minesweeper acquired by the Royal Navy and adopted by the village.

For more information go to: www.cattistock.info

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