Thanks to Mark Chutter for sharing these colourful watercolour paintings done by the talented Henry Joseph Moule (1825-1904).

Mark is currently writing a book on Henry Moule and has very kindly taken photos of the present day view in Fordington for comparison to the watercolours.

He was the son of the Reverend Henry and Mary Moule of Fordington Vicarage and one of eight sons (his brother Christopher sadly died in infancy).

Mark is currently writing a book on Fordington Vicarage called H.J.Moule - Memories of a Vicarage.

The Moule family were genius scholars. Henry attended Cambridge University and then he became the Curator of Dorset County Museum for 21 years. From the 1840s until his death he produced a remarkable collection of watercolours now held in the Dorset County Museum archives.

Henry was educated entirely at home in the vicarage and this is where he learnt to sketch. The poet and novelist Thomas Hardy was a frequent visitor to the vicarage and he became close friends with the brilliant scholar Horace Moule. Between 1856 and 1860 Henry Joseph taught Hardy to sketch in watercolours from nature. Life at the vicarage provided much scope for Henry Moule to develop his talents. Mrs Moule was dedicated to educating her sons.

To supplement the income of the vicarage, eight or nine sons of gentry boarded at the house staying for a year at a time to prepare for university. They were taught the classics and Hebrew by Reverend Moule. In 1856 the Moule sons formed their own debating society ' The Times' with other scholars.

The society functioned until 1859. It published a privately printed book ' Tempora Mutantur' (Times are Changed), a compendium of verse and prose. Mrs Moule was such a key influence on her sons introducing them to literature, music and painting.

Mark said: "Henry was described as ' one of those very rare men who knew a little of everything , and knew that little well' . Some of the landscape views depicted here are still recognisable, however some have vanished such as Fordington Old Vicarage.

"My grandmother and her family lived in the house from 1942 until 1971 when it was sadly demolished."

*We'll be sharing more watercolours and present day views of Fordington next week.