Okeford Fitzpaine is one of Dorset's most attractive villages with timber-framed cottages, formed with locally made bricks, has fought to retain its rural charm and solitude. Not only have the villagers tried to stop traffic rushing past ancient dwellings, but have successfully fought to have ugly overhead electric cables removed. Even the village post box is painted green rather than the traditional red. Twenty-five of the 18th century buildings are listed.

Okeford FitzpaineIn 1966 much of the village went under the hammer and was sold up for 166,000 but at the wish of the late Captain George Pitt-Rivers, who owned it, the properties were sold in lots to enable residents to purchase their own houses. One old man got his three-bed roomed thatched cottage for 1,500 pounds.

Close by is a picnic site, high up on the famous Ridgeway - one of the country's ancient walks, which stretches from East Anglia to Devon.

Villagers still chuckle when they retell the story of Robertson of Payn, one of the early Fitzpaines and a former landowner. He fought at the Battle of Lewes against King Henry III and was one of his captors. Analogous to a modern soldier 'borrowing' the sleeping out pass stamp in the Guard Room behind the military policeman's back, Robert of Payn and a man called Govis 'borrowed' the King's seal and set it on a document excusing them from paying dues on their estates.

The sting in the tall of their amusing ruse was the rider stating that the grounds for the special indulgence were 'their good services to the King at Lewes.'

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