In 1824 a tidal wave enveloped the village but even that paled into insignificance
beside the flood of 1886.
Christmas day, 1886 was the start of what was to become known as The Great
Flood it began to rain and rain. The bitterly cold wind blew to hurricane force.
The rain turned to snow and blizzards formed huge drifts all along the Bride
Valley - altogether 4.2 inches of rain fell that day. By the evening 47 houses
were flooded up to their ceilings and the main bridge was swept away. The Symes
family were trapped in their home for ten hours - despite a dramatic attempt
by seven men who battled their way to the beach to get a boat.
One of those men was himself swept away. He was eventually rescued clinging
to a tree. The rescue of the hapless Symes family had to wait until daylight
and receding waters.
Over the years the village has suffered a number of floods- but the worst in
living memory being in 1916. One villager even caught a trout in Mill Street
on that occasion.
(This extract was taken from The Dorset Evening Echo November 6th
1987 Country Life- A portrait of a Village by Rene Gerryts.)