Rustic assets are reflection of a thriving community

March 5, 2014

Cock & Bottle

GRUB’S UP: The Cock and Bottle, East Morden, which has been voted best regional food pub by local brewery Hall and Woodhouse. It offers fresh fish and game on the menu.

Morden Village Hall

HALL RIGHT: The village hall at Morden is run by a group of volunteers who act as the committee of trustees. The hall is available for hire for community use.

Morden View

MEDIEVAL HISTORY: This is part of the village of Morden, looking down from the graveyard of St Mary’s Church. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Old phone box

VILLAGE LANDMARKS: The village has an old red phone box, an increasingly rare sight in the South West countryside.

St Mary's Morden

LISTED BUILDING: St Mary’s Church Morden boasts a nave and tower as well as a monument dedicated to the knight Thomas Erle of Charlborough Park.


A REFERENCE in the Domesday book, freshly cooked food and first-class facilities reflect the community values of a village steeped in heritage.

The parish of Morden is derived from the saxon words for heath mor and dune and lies five miles north of Wareham and six miles north-west of Poole. It comprises the hamlets of East Morden, West Morden, Charlborough and Whitefields.

It is recalled in the Domesday Book and the parish was divided amongst several landowners including Sir Walter de Clavile. Subsequent families who have been linked to the village also include the Matravers and Drax families.

The population in the village has fluctuated over the years from nearly 600 at the turn of the 19th Century; it doubled by 1851 but in 2001 it had dropped to only 325.

According to the parish registers, the village’s population was decimated by a plague in 1747-48 and it spread to Corfe Mullen, Bloxworth, Sturminster Marshall, Lytchett Matravers and Lytchett Minster.

Much of the parish of Morden is still logged as a conservation area and it includes a number of historical buildings, ancient monuments and listed buildings.

In previous generations, the Charlborough estate provided much of the local employment through agriculture, forestry and estate maintenance.

A former resident from Morden, Sidney Smith, who was born in the village in 1837, emigrated Down Under to form the Valumba vineyards in South Australia.

The parish church of St Mary’s was rebuilt on 1873 on top of an original structure by Joseph Seller. The church is renowned for its tall tower and nave. It was listed as a Grade II Listed Building in 1959.

The Interior of the church houses a monument to the Knight Thomas Erle of Charlborough Park which sees him paying homage on one knee on the right side of the entrance to the bell tower.

The refurbished village hall lies in the middle of rolling countryside and this year it is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Its entrance lies on the east side of the B3075 between the A31 and the A35 and is signposted from the road. The basic hire of the hall’s use includes use of the bar, the kitchen and the stage.

It is looks in fantastic knick and is a reflection of the time and effort looking after it for the benefit of the community.

As well as the village, the hall serves as a venue to other communities and it is a resource that is greatly cherished and it has a dedicated group of volunteers who act as the committee of trustees.

The hall and grounds are owned by the Morden Recreation Ground and Village Hall and it is a registered charity. The recreation ground comprises of two football grounds, a tennis court and a children’s play area.

Also pride of place is the village’s community hub, The Cock And Bottle. This pub is an “Old Worlde” Inn, parts of which are said to date back to 400 years.

The simply furnished Chatters Bar has a large, crackling open log fire which is a curved wooden, settle and provides traditional pub games such as darts and dominoes.

It was voted best regional food pub for three consecutive years by local brewers Hall and Woodhouse.

Being close to the sea, the pub offers a range of fish dishes and fresh game. The chef produces wonderful dishes including wild sea bass fillets, lamb shank, venison, fresh dressed crab and steak and kidney pudding. The kitchen also offer home-made desserts.

A visitor from a neighbouring village said of their visit to the Cock And Bottle on Trip Advisor: “It’s next to us but we hadn’t been in years. We will be going back very soon. Not your usual pub menu, more a-la-carte, with lots of country game and fish.”


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

sharon April 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Excellent website you have going here Matt. Great page here, blogging Morden in Dorset too. It’s a village in the middle of nowhere; one of those that you either know of, because of relatives and friends, or you know of because you accidentally drove through it one Sunday while lost in the back country lanes of rural Dorset!!
I thank you for the blog as my mum and step dad currently run The Cock & Bottle and have recently added a conservatory; extending the restaurant part of the pub. They also run the Botany Bay, a short drive away, which will be re-opening soon after being closed for major refurbishment. Maybe pop into the Botany next time you are in the area? =)


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