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Welcome to Dorset Lore a project to record and share the rich heritage of folklore, traditions, ghost stories and legends of the county of Dorset.

This project is starting as a monthly column in The Marnhull Messenger but I hope it will spread far and wide across the county and become a valuable archive of Dorset folklore, ghost stories and legends.


Until about 120 years ago on Shrove Tuesday it was a custom in Sherborne for children to take any cracked or useless crockery known as ‘shards’ around the village with them as weapons and upon arriving at a neighbours front door sing :-

‘Here I come, I never came before,
If you don’t give me a pancake
I’ll break down your door.’

They would then throw the crockery at the door smashing it. The house owner was then supposed to come outside and toss a pancake for the children to catch. Similar happenings occurred in Marnhull, Blandford and other places. As a result, Shrove Tuesday was known by some as Lin-Crock Day.

This comes from the wonderful ‘Dorset up along and down along’ first published in 1935 – A collection of History, Tradition, Folk Lore, Flower Names and Herbal Lore gathered together by members of Women’s Institutes and edited by Marianne R. Dacombe.

I have already gathered lots of folklore specific to Marnhull and surrounding villages and would be very interested to hear what stories locals recall, what their sources are and what variations there are of the stories I have already researched. You can  e-mail me at

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