These are wonderful old photos of yet another attractive west Dorset village.

These pictures of Shipton Gorge, a parish two miles south-east of Bridport, were taken by Claud Hider from 1922 onwards.

They have been preserved and shared with the public by local history enthusiast Neil Mattingly.

Visitors to the village are surprised to discover that there is no gorge!

Although there are a number of old lanes in and around Shipton Gorge with high banks on both sides, which may appear like small gorges, there is in fact no geological gorge in Shipton Gorge!

Shipton Gorge was named after the de Gorge family who came from Normandy. Nearby is Shipton Hill on which are the remains of an ancient camp.

The church of St Martin was rebuilt in 1862, the tower being the only remaining part from the 14th century church that was retained. Within is a 13th century stone font. It seats 220 persons and the registers date from 1675.

The village contains several examples of 18th century thatched cottages. A National School was built in 1862 for 90 children.

During the 19th century the chief crops were wheat, barley and oats, with some land laid to pasture. In 1861 the population was 413 and in 1891 was down to 318.

Thanks to the Dorset Online Parish Clerks (OPC) and to for the information in this article.