Although the village of Oare is only two miles from the sea it lies deep in an Exmoor valley surrounded by winding lanes and superb scenery. Oare Manor was once the house of Nicholas Snow whose family held property in the parish for 1,000 years. It is sometimes wrongly identified as Plover's Barrows Farm, the fictional home of John Ridd. St. Mary's Church at Oare stands in the heart of R. D. Blackmore's Doone Country and it played a dramatic part in the story. It was on the altar steps of Oare Church that the fictional Lorna was shot by Carver Doone during her marriage to John Ridd. At the time of the story, the church, which dates from the 14th and 15th centuries, would only have held about twelve people. The chancel was enlarged in the mid-19th century, by which time the box pews had also been added. The church now contains a memorial to the author which was erected on the centenary of his birth in 1825.
Oare and it's ancient church have long been a mecca for lovers of R.D. Blackmore's romantic novel 'Lorna Doone', for it was here that Lorna was shot on her wedding day.
Contributed by: Lucy Pinknall