The village of Burton Bradstock lies 5 miles east of Bridport, Dorset, England. Situated on the Chesil Beach, the village nestles around the church of St. Mary the Virgin and 16th and 17th century thatched cottages. A tranquil scene today, but in 1843 the village suffered one of the worst fires that had occurred in this part of the country.
If you have an interest in Dorset’s heritage, then a visit to the West Dorset Research Centre at Burton Bradstock could be very rewarding and worthwhile.
Read the full story by Annette Shaw in the Dorset Magazine.
John Tompkins was born on November 1, 1834 at Looke in the parish of Abbotsbury, Dorset, England the fifth of eight children of Richard Tompkins and Ann Churchill. Despite being born in Abbotsbury, John was baptised in the parish church at Puncknowle, which was physically much closer to the family home.
The January 1842 edition of The British Magazine and Monthly Register of Religious and Ecclesiastical Information reported on a service held at Burton Bradstock, Dorset, England on behalf of the new village school.
Most Dorset families can point to a smuggler in there past, my own, (although as yet unproved), being no exception. Many of these stories have been documented by Rodney Legg in his fascinating book Dorset Smuggling, and there is an excellent collection of artifacts in the the Portland Museum. However in all the tales of smuggling in Dorset, one man appears more often than any other, and has been give the approbation of The King of the Smugglers and whose operations ranged from Poole in the east to Lyme Regis in the west.