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Arne is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'aern' meaning dwelling and as a bulky peninsular is part of the whole area that is between Corfe and Wareham, The Frome and Poole Harbour has been inhabited in some way for thousands of years. Looking now it is sometimes difficult to imagine it has ever been inhabited.
   If you look at a map of the area you could easily suppose all roads (paths and tracks that is) lead to Arne. That might not be strictly true but so much had gone on over the years that there were many ways Studland and west. Then Mr MacAdam came along. If the Roman's had 'discovered oil' we would probably have had 'Purbeck Street' from London passing through to Wytch.

   Besides some small-scale agriculture the whole area thrived on the digging and export of clay much of which was transported up to the Frome in various forms of barrows along tracks and ultimately along rails of several different small gauges. The industry still thrives at Furzebrook and thereabouts being taken out in lorries or standard gauge trains. Clay was also worked and fired.
   Salt was produced by boiling water in salternes, possibly before the Roman presence. As a one-time dependency of Shaftsbury Abbey the records show that twenty tenants held such salterns, they would have been comfortably off since salt was wealth and had great bartering power. We now know Wytch for its oil, or rather the extraction at Wytch, whereas it was once known for its clay.
   The harbour off and away from Shipstal Point was known for oysters since Roman times, perhaps earlier.
   Outgoing commodities of course meant imports such as coal, to sustain the local population, this is all part of why Wareham and the Frome via Poole Harbour became such a major centre. One should not ignore there was much toing and froing across Poole Harbour via the Islands many of which were their own little hives of activity at some time. Poole itself became in time the more industrious site since the Frome and other rivers were gradually silting up and ships/boats getting larger.

   During The Second World War much of the area, Arne included, was evacuated. As well as being used for training, fires were lighted to draw enemy bombers away from populated and industrial areas.

   As is the case Studland and west, much of what was heath, shrub and deciduous wood was replaced in the 1950s by conifers, a new forest, but not 'The New Forest'. One has mixed feelings about this new forestation because there is obviously no record of what the deciduous density might have been before mankind got a foothold. But, you have to weigh against that, that it still supports wildlife and hides away the oil industry quite successfully. Norman and Saxon kings did of course impose strict laws to preserve their game, which meant cover of trees. The last king to hunt there was probably James I/VI in the early 17th century.
   It does however seem strange that Kings should venture to what seems something of a backwater, even though it was industrious, when there was still 'The New Forest' established by King John 400 years earlier. Perhaps they needed something wherever they might venture, just in case.
   These were the days in our green and pleasant land when the king was allowed to kill animals/game, or have them killed for his benefit, but strung up anybody else for doing it !

   Anybody visiting and delighting in the vast areas of heath, brush and forestation with it's multitude of wildlife could be forgiven for thinking this was the way it had always been. One must be grateful it is this way, the land has to some degree been borrowed from nature and returned to nature. An instance being the RSPB now offering sanctuary to birds there.

   Like Worth and Studland, the church at Arne is dedicated to St Nicholas of Myra. There may be an anomaly here because the original church was Saxon, whereas St Nicholas of Myra didn't make an appearance until the late 11th century. The reason being, reputedly, Italian sailors stole his remains from Myra (present-day Turkey), where he was a 4th century bishop, and took them to Italy.



Arne Toy Museum

   A delightful place to visit and see what you would loved to have had when you were kids, and how many toys that you actually had yourselves.
   The toy museum has it's own car park and refreshment facilities.

   The collection was put together by Bryan & Iris Etches over many years and contains examples way back into the 19th century.
Just 2 examples of so many.


   It had been noted that some of the property had been on the market (2002), but more recent information thankfully suggested the museum would continue as was.
   In 2004 Bryan did in fact sell to a Joyce Kosinski, but still maintained an interest in the future of the Museum by assisting the new owner.
   Very sadly, following ill health, Bryan passed away on the 17 December 2004. He will be remembered.

Phone: 01929-552018

Arne Studio - one of very few properties in this neck of the woods.  

   The woods and heath is almost all that is here, a delight for those who enjoy the great outdoors.
   Not surprisingly there is a car park for those who want to come here and enjoy. It is only 3 miles walk from Norden or Wareham !  




Arne Dairy House - a delightful 16th century house in delightful surroundings, partly rebuilt after Second World War damage and now available as a holiday cottage. Click Arne Dairy House to take you to the web site.


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