Monday, November 8, 2010

Swan on her nest at Abbotsbury Swannery


In the 1700s the Journal of London pronounced “all the people of Abbotsbury – including the vicar – thieves, smugglers and plunderers of wrecks”.

Over the centuries much has changed. Abbotsbury is now a quaint, but respectable village; its showpiece, a 14th century swannery, home to a huge colony of birds that have lived and procreated on Dorset's Jurassic coast for hundreds of years.

Child feeding the swans at Abbotsbury Swannery
Once serving as a larder and a source of culinary delicacies for the monks of the Benedictine monastery of St. Peters in the village, the swans now provide the feathers that decorate the helmets of the ‘Gentlemen at Arms’, the Queen's traditional bodyguard.

Loath to give way to modernity, Lloyds of London, the world's most renowned insurance underwriter, uses swan quills from Abbotsbury to record in their 'Doom Book', the dark days when the company settles insurance claims

More to follow on Abbotsbury's Swannery ...

Posted by Anne Gordon on Monday, 8th November, 2010


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