The River Cerne flows through Charminster, and indeed gives the village its name. Domesday records the village as Cernminstre, the Minster on the River Cerne. The river is fordable at Alley Bridge, and there is evidence that four ancient trackways met at this point.
The view from the road bridge near the church, looking up-stream towards Alley Bridge. Difficult to date the
postcard on the left, but there are some children standing in the river whose attire would suggest early 1900s.
Little has changed in the present-day photograph, also the bridge looks slightly different.
Entitled 'The Road through the River' this postcard probably dates from the
early 1900s. There was a public right of way along the river from the bottom
of East Hill to the ford at Abbey Bridge, and as late as the 1960s a local farmer used
to ride his horse through the river at least once a year to keep the Right of Way open.
Today, little has changed except for the trees, and the river
bank at the ford has been strengthened with concrete. The Right
of Way has lapsed, but the river is still a favourite with village children.
Two views looking across the river towards the church, certainly early 20th Century. Note the wooden bridge.
The lower postcard especially shows how easy it is to ford the river here.
A much later postcard, probably 1950s or 1960s. Note in particular how much the trees have grown. Also,
the wooden arched bridge appears to have been replaced by a flat structure.
By 2006 the church has almost disappeared behind the trees The new bridge can be clearly seen, along with the
concrete edge to the far side of the river.
Seats and an information board have been placed by the low wall.
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