The hamlet of Leigh rests on Oxford clay and it is a feature of this soil that settlements tend to be small with several quite scattered farms. Another feature of clay is the width allowed between hedges, which is usually much wider than on better draining soils. This was because before the days of a metalled surface to roads a greater area was needed to avoid becoming completely bogged down in wet weather.
The church, like so many in Dorset, still has its C15 tower replete with some splendid gargoyles. The nave and chancel are the result of a Victorian restoration in 1840. This was to a design by R J Withers of Sherborne, whose only other recorded churches are St Nicholas at Hilfield and St Mary at Melbury Bubb. There is an impressive bench end probably dating from C16 and a good font.
Leigh is also famous for its miz maze. Centuries ago, these were a common place amusement and consisted of an intricate arrangement of low banks and trenches, through which local lads would wander at certain seasons of the year. Nothing now survives apart from a low bank and ditch. It is very small. Other examples can be found at Pimperne and Troy Town. The English for maze is "caertroi" and "troi" means "turning". This must be where Troy Town derives its name.
The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©
|St Andrew||Leigh||DT9 6HL||0|
|St. Peter||Chetnole||DT9 6NZ||1|
|St Mary the Virgin||Melbury Bubb||DT2 0NQ||2|
|St Nicholas||Hillfield||DT2 7BA||2|
|St Andrews||Yetminster||DT9 6LG||2|
|St. Edwold||Stockwood||DT2 0NG||2|
|St. George||Beer Hackett||DT9 6RA||2|
|St. Mary||Batcombe||DT2 7BG||2|
|St. Mary||Hermitage||DT2 7BB||2|
|St. Michael||Beer Hackett||DT9 6QT||2|
|Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary||Holnest||DT9 5PU||3|
|St Martin of Tours||Lillington||DT9 6QX||3|
|St. Hippolytus||Ryme Intrinseca||DT9 6JX||3|
|St. Osmond||Melbury Osmond||DT2 0LZ||3|
|St. Mary||Melbury Sampford||DT2 0LF||3|
|St. Andrew||Minterne Magna||DT2 7AZ||3|
|St. James||Longburton||DT9 5PF||3|
|St. Mary Magdalene||Thornford||DT9 6QF||3|
|St. James||East Chelborough/Lewcombe||DT2 0QB||4|
|St. Mary the Virgin||Glanvilles Wootton||DT9 5QE||4|