February 22, 2002


The unusual, indeed unique, name of Loders is an ancient one. It was probably originally the old name of the river here, which is now called the Asker. The place is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Lodre or Lodres, later as Loddre or Loddres in 1244 and Loderes in 1291. The old British (Celtic) river-name which in turn became the name of the village probably means 'the pool stream' from the Celtic words lo 'pool' and dour 'water' (the first of these is found in Looe in Cornwall and the second in Dover in Kent as well as in the Dorset name Toller, which means 'hollow stream'). Nearby Uploders, also simply called Lodre in Domesday Book, is distinguished as Uppelodres in 1445, Uplodre in 1446. The addition Up- means 'higher upstream'. The present river-name Asker is a so-called 'back-formation' from Askerswell still further upstream.

Loders has a handsome village street, all stone, dating from the 17th-19th centuries. One house has a date stone of 1786. The church of St Mary Magdalene was from 1107-1410 the priory church and is all medieval, although restored in the 19th century, ranging from the 12th to he 15th century, mostly mixed together. The north side of the chancel shows the variety - the easternmost window is c. 1400, the centre one a lancet of the 13th century, and the westernmost 12th century with a blocked doorway below. Perhaps the prettiest part of the building is the south chapel, 15th century and elaborate. A bell of 1641 is on display.
To the north of the church is Loders Court, (late 18th century), whose splendid gardens surround the church.