Loders & Uploders
“….a very pretty place, how peaceful it all seems. Surrounded by the wooded hills, with little lanes and many streams.”
This is the opening line to a poem entitled “Loders” by W.H. Brown, but it applies equally well to Uploders and the area between them.
The two villages, situated along the River Asker, combine to make a thriving rural community, which may have its origins as far back as 1800BC according to human bones found in the 1930s at Boarsbarrow Hill and a stock of chipped flints near the church, believed to be from a Neolithic workshop. Roman coins were found when Wellplot was built in the 1950s and the first written reference dates back to the time of Edward the Confessor in the first half of the 11th century.
There are also Celtic and Saxon lynchets to the north and south and Yondover Bridge is a listed ancient monument.
Nowadays there is a well-balanced mix of permanent dwellings and second or holiday homes and the more modern developments blend in well with their historic neighbours, some of which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Most of the houses are of local stone with many old thatched cottages. There is a village school in Loders founded in 1869 by the Nepean family who used to own the whole village.
There are two welcoming pubs dating from the 1800s: The Loders Arms in Loders (which has a traditional skittle alley) and The Crown in Uploders. There is also a well-equipped village hall in Loders which plays host to many clubs and events including the weekly Youth Club, short mat bowls, art and craft clubs and the local W.I., and once a year competitors battle it out over fruit and veg, jam, bread and flowers at the Produce Show. An important fundraising event is the annual Church Fête which takes place in the grounds of Loders Court and attracts a multitude of holiday-makers and locals alike.
There is a pretty, late Georgian Methodist Chapel in Uploders, restored and improved for a variety of village events beside regular Methodist Services. You will often find it open for tea and delicious cakes when other events (such as the annual Scarecrow Competition or Ride and Stride) are taking place. More information on the Chapel can be found at https://www.dsw.church/churches/uploders.html
The Grade 1 listed parish church of St Mary Magdalene is at the west end of Loders. It is always open to welcome visitors from all over the world seeking their roots as an exceptional number of people seem to have emigrated from here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Built of warm coloured stone the current building is on the site of a Saxon church and a 12th century priory. It was sensitively restored in 1901, but remains mostly mediaeval in style and construction. There is an excellent peal of six bells and a renowned William Hill pipe organ dating back to 1864.
Many thanks to the archives of Loders Local History Group for much of the information mentioned above. You can find out more about the history at http://www.lodersparish.org/Loders_Local_History_Group_24472.aspx
Updated May 2023