Standing on its own in its own secluded garden on the edge of West Milton, Gore Cottage is stone built with a thatched roof and porch and is the perfect place for stepping back in time to have a holiday as it used to be. It has been in and out of the family since the 1840s and was bought from an aunt in 1952 as an escape from school holidays in London. By 1973, with everybody grown up, it was time to share its timeless charms with others.
Originally built as a pair of one up one down cottages in the eighteenth century, Gore Cottage became a three bedroomed cottage in the nineteenth century with a lean-to. By the 1930s, Dorset County Council was becoming concerned by the state of the County’s housing and grants were introduced for improvements. The three upstairs bedrooms became two, with the new stair case going up in the middle of the cottage, direct from the front door. The living room became the third bedroom, the kitchen – sitting room became the living room, with the range, and the lean-to became the scullery. This had a built in larder, a Belfast sink with draining board, a bath with a lid and a copper for heating water and washing clothes. In the thatched shed, where an Earth Closet had been, a Water Closet was installed and further down the garden a good sized septic tank. The inside WC and wash basin were put in in 1952 and the land line telephone in 1958.
By 1963, having the bath in the kitchen became too inconvenient, so out came the copper, the bath was moved along the wall, a hand basin was added and the whole was boxed in with a sliding door; a skylight was put in where the flue for the copper had been. This is largely how Gore Cottage has remained except for putting in heating in 1990, and in 1999, raising the roof of the lean-to and putting in a multi fuel stove in the sitting room.
There is no TV (because of the very poor reception) and no broadband or signal for mobile phones or internet access but there is a land line telephone for incoming and outgoing calls. Gore is an ideal place for a retro holiday and just the place to be ‘unplugged’.
The Dorset and East Devon coast, the Jurassic Coast, has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; West Milton is five miles from the coast at West Bay, Bridport’s harbour and the setting for ‘Broadchurch’. Other beaches are at Burton Bradstock and Seatown, with Weymouth and Lyme Regis being further away. Riding, fishing and golf are available in the area. Places to visit include the gardens of Mapperton where scenes from Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ were filmed, and Athelhampton.