East Creech Farm and Creech Barrow
Places to visit in Purbeck...
Last week we discovered the charming little hamlet of East Creech. Although off the beaten track, this part of Purbeck is certainly worth a visit and there are some amazing walks with stunning views nearby.
East Creech is a tiny hamlet, nestled in the foot of the Purbeck hills, a short drive from Wareham or Corfe. Home to just a few traditional cottages and farmhouses as well as East Creech Farm, a working family farm, campsite and tea room.
The village’s focal point is the pretty village pond, located beside the road, where ducks are free to roam. Nearby there is a traditional, rustic tea-room with a large outside garden overlooking the beautiful Purbeck hills.
The Cake House Tea Room was originally cow cake storage barn, where the road side window was a hatch used to blow the feed in. The cake would be used to feed the dairy cows when they were milked and the garden area was the yard the cows would be let into after milking. Today the Tea Room serves breakfast, lunch or homemade cake in a scenic, rural location. Find out more at The Cake House Tea Room website.
An additional attraction are the lovely landscaped fishing lakes, located just below the tea room. We enjoyed our stroll around the lakes, spotting a flash of blue iridescence from the resident dragonflies and damselflies, flying amongst the water-lilies. Further up the hill we discovered a lovely area where visitors can view the farm’s resident chickens, ducks, donkeys, goats and even a family of Rheas birds!
An ancient burial mound and King John's Hunting Lodge!
East Creech is named after Creech Barrow, a nearby ancient burial mound which is a popular destination for local walkers.
The name appeared in the 1086 Domesday Book as as Cric, Criz and Crist and later as Crich in 1224, with ‘Estriche’ appearing in 1337. Creech is actually the oldest name in the Isle of Purbeck, derived from a Celtic word ‘crug’ meaning mound, hill or barrow. Creech Barrow itself is a conspicuous conical hill, just above East Creech Hamlet, an important local landmark since ancient times. The top of Creech barrow was also the site of King John’s 13th century Hunting Lodge, where he would have surveyed his hunting reserve in Purbeck below.
Today Creech Barrow is a scheduled ancient monument and at 633 feet above sea level, it is geologically the highest Cenozoic hill in England! It is therefore not surprisingly that is still is one of Dorset’s most distinctive landmarks.