Some Places in Dorset
Blandford St. Mary
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This page is an offshoot from my main Dorset page, separated out to keep the page size within bounds for those with slow modems.
To appear in this section a town or village has to meet a number of criteria. First, it has to be of family history interest to me; in other words, one or more of my or my wife's ancestors lived there. Second, I must have, or have access to, the appropriate information to be able to set up the page. Third, I must have managed to find the time to do it. Finally, if I am aware that it has already been done by someone else, all that will be found here is a link to that other site.
However, for completeness sake, if the place meets the first criterion but fails on one or more of the others, then it will at least appear here as a heading, so the reader will have some idea which places may "get the treatment" at some time in the future.
In all cases, you can see a larger version of photos by clicking on the small image shown, then use the "back button" on your browser to return to this page.
The first photo shows the west front of St. Mary's Church, Beaminster, while the second gives a more general view of the building. Both photos were taken in August 1998.
According to the 1851 census my great great great grandmother (Mary), who married John Wills, was born in Beaminster about 1809, but unfortunately I have not yet discovered her surname.
This photo of the village church was taken in July 2005.
My great great great great grandparents Jacob Adams and Hannah Bellowes married here in 1789.
The first photo shows St. Peter & St. Paul Church.
The second shows the old village school.
The third shows the 17th century inn, the Fox and Hounds.
The remaining two show other village views.
All the photos shown were taken in July 2005.
My great great great grandmother Mary Woodsford was baptised (and presumably born) here in 1804.
These two views of All Saints Church were taken in July 2005. The second reveals serious deterioration of the white painted rendering protecting the inner brick and stonework.
Another pair of my great great great great grandparents, James Bolton and Anne West, married here in 1765.
My great great great great grandfather Isaac Gerrard was baptised here in 1765 and married Margaret Lillington here in 1790. His sister Sarah was also baptised here in 1770, and so were the second and third of the couple's children (Mary and Isaac, in 1793 and 1797).
The photos (all taken 7th July 2007; click on the thumbnails for larger images) show All Saints church (48,478 bytes) and three different views of the village (60,223, 29,878 and 54,873 bytes respectively).
My great great grandparents lived and were married in the attractive ancient village of Maiden Newton. This photo of the parish church (61,036 bytes) was taken 30th December 1997. My great grandmother (their daughter, who apparently later eloped to Wimborne) was born and grew up in the village.
This village is unique in being one of the earliest examples, if not the earliest, of a fully planned community, long preceding such better known examples as Bournville, Port Sunlight and Letchworth Garden City. It was a small market town, then called Middleton, of many streets, containing an inn and brewery, a grammar school, almshouses and 180 cottages all gathered around a great abbey. In 1752 the estate was bought by Joseph Damer, who became Earl of Dorchester. He demolished most of the abbey buildings, but not its huge church, and built himself a big house there, incorporating the Abbot's Hall. Disliking the proximity of the town, he had the whole thing demolished (except for two cottages) and built the new village a mile away out of sight of his house. It now consists of a single curved street of identical thatched cottages on a hillside, with an inn at the top and the church (built in 1787, at the same time as the cottages and extended in the 19th century) half way down, with a large area of turf in front of each one and originally a chestnut tree between them. The original almshouses were taken down and re-erected opposite the new church. The above photos, left to right (click on the thumbnails for larger images) are 1. View of the village (30,193 bytes), 2. St. James' Church (47,294 bytes), 3. Almshouses (49,514 bytes), 4. Abbey church and Abbey House (18,844 bytes), 5. Abbey church (27,177 bytes). These photos were all taken 7th July 2007.
My great great great grandfather John Gerrard (or Cherrett) was baptised here in 1791, as was his mother Margaret Lillington in 1767. Her parents, Thomas Lillington and Mary Churchouse were married here in 1755, and were presumably among those forced to relocate when the village was moved.
These two views of St. Michael's Church were taken in July 2005, as were the next two, showing respectively Church Road (the church is on the left) and a cottage opposite the church.
My great great great great grandmother Elizabeth Foan was baptised here in 1757 and married Peter Woodsford here in 1779. Her parents Thomas Foan and Mary Talbot married here in 1739.
This tiny but interesting place is described on a separate set of pages, which contains photos and various transcriptions.
This tiny village or hamlet was apparently once known as Tarrant Antioch or Antiock, both that name and the present one being formed by combining the name of the local River Tarrant with that of the owner of the manor. It appears now to consist only of half a dozen or so houses and a farm, with the church (see photo taken 7th July 2007, 52,153 bytes) now privately owned and incorporated in the curtilage of the (very impressive) farm buildings. The second photo (75,215 bytes) shows the infant River Tarrant looking upstream from the bridge at Tarrant Rawston; it seems to be almost choked with the very poisonous hemlock water dropwort. I don't know the function of the intriguing looking small brick structure which seems to be partly in the river and partly on the bank just above the bridge,
My great great great great grandfather John Lacey was apparently born here but, like many others in the village at that time, baptised in Tarrant Crawford in 1763. In 1787 he married Hannah Seymour here, but the record is again in the Tarrant Crawford parish register.
The first two photos show the former Holy Trinity Church, Wareham (now a tourist information centre)
The other three show Lady St. Mary Church from different directions. All five were taken on 16th July 2005.
My great great great great great grandmother Mary A'Court was baptised in 1736 at Lady St. Mary Church, and married there in 1762. Three of her four younger siblings were baptised at Holy Trinity and a fourth at Lady St. Mary, while one was buried at Lady St. Mary. Her mother Scot(?) was buried at Lady St. Mary in 1759, where her father's second marriage took place in 1760, but he was buried at Holy Trinity in 1774. Why the family repeatedly switched from one church to the other I do not know.
This photo of the impressive Minster was taken (under difficult lighting conditions) in December 1997; the building dates from 1120 AD. The photo of the former Registrar's Office was taken in August 1998.
My grandmother Sarah Ann Reed/Adams was born in this small ancient town in 1876, and her parents John Adams and Rebecca Mary Reed married at the Registrar's Office in 1877.
The first two of these photos (taken in July 2005) show different views of the outside of St. Mary's Church, while the third (taken June 1986) shows the interior. The fourth photo (also taken in June 1986) shows a row of cottages in the village.
My great great grandfather Frederick Adams was born here in 1833, his parents Benjamin Adams and Sarah Bolton married here in 1812 and Benjamin was baptised here in 1793.
This photo (taken July 2005) shows St. Mary's, St. Cuthberga's & All Saints Church.
My great great great great grandmother Hannah Bellowes was baptised here in 1765, her parents Robert Bellowes and Ruth Prince married here in 1763 and Ruth was baptised here in 1742.
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