Transcript of the description for Shaftesbury from Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851

SHAFTESBURY or Shaston, is an ancient town and borough, both corporate and parliamentary, having separate jurisdiction, it is 21 miles S.W. from Salisbury, 16 N.E. from Sherborne, 28 miles N.N.E. from Dorchester, a similar distance W.N.W. from Poole, and 101 W.S.W. from London, standing on a shaft-like eminence hence its name, at the north-eastern confines of the county, bordering upon Wiltshire. Many antiquarians agree that this town was built by Alfred the Great, but tradition ascribes its origin to a much earlier era, however this may be it is duly authenticated that in the 88th year of the 9th century, Alfred founded here an abbey for Benedictine nuns, this building occupied a great extent of ground, although its site is scarcely now discernible. The abbess of Shaftesbury was one of the four that held the entire barony of the Crown, in consequence of which she was liable to be summoned to parliament, but was excused attending on account of her sex. This richly-endowed monastery was greatly resorted to by pilgrims from far and near, who came to worship at the shrine of Edward the Martyr, whose bones were brought hither from Wareham and reinterred in the Abbey, and many were the miracles said to have been wrought at his tomb. Among the devotees was the illustrious Danish king Canute, who died here and whose mortal remains were deposited within the abbey walls. Shaftesbury was originally incorporated by Queen Elizabeth; at present the municipal body consists of 12 councilmen and 3 aldermen, from whom a mayor is annually elected, the borough sends one member to parliament, and is one of the polling stations at elections.

The town, which is lighted with gas, consists principally of three narrow, ill-contrived and partially-paved streets, diverging from a centre, and the houses although mostly built of stone, have no pretensions to either elegance or uniformity, being ancient buildings of irregular construction. The local supply of water is obtained from deep wells, but is inadequate to the consumption of the town, so that the inhabitants are compelled to have recourse to a stream that flows in the adjoining valley, and were formerly supplied from the village of Motcomb, through the medium of pack-horses. A great part of the land hereabouts belongs to the Marquis of Westminster, who has somewhat improved the appearance of Shaftesbury by causing, a few years since, a handsome Town Hall, an Infant School and several neat houses to be erected, and rumour reports, that the same nobleman has projected and is about to effect other alterations and additions, of a character calculated to improve the appearance of the town and confer a benefit on its inhabitants. At one period the making of wire shirt buttons furnished employment to many females here, but this trade is now nearly extinct. This locality is famous for its excellent dairy produce, much of which is brought to this town and sold or exchanged for other commodities, but a large portion of it finds its way to other markets.

There were anciently twelve churches at Shaftesbury, at the present period there are but three, viz.: Holy Trinity, St. Peter's and St. James's, the livings of the two former are consolidated. Holy Trinity Church was erected a few years ago upan the site of its aged predecessor; it is a neat structure in the Gothic style. St. James's, a plain edifice is in the liberty of Alcester. The Independents, Wesleyan Methodists and Society of Friends, have each a chapel here. The charities consist of a Blue Coat Free school, where 20 boys are clothed and instructed, and after being in the establishment for four years, a liberal sum is allotted to each for binding him to any trade he may prefer. Mr. William Lush was the founder of this excellent institution. Alms-houses for men and women were founded and endowed by Sir William Spiller, knt. and Mr. Matthew Chubb. Here are likewise two schools upon the National system, and one upon the British. Fairs for cattle, sheep, cheese and agricultural products, are held on the Saturday previous to Palm Sunday, June 24th and November 23rd, and a weekly market on Saturday. In 1841 the population was 3170.

At Shaftesbury the antiquarian will find ample materials for his research and reflection in its two "time-honoured" Churches, as well as in the domestic architecture of many of its ancient houses, whilst the artist or the admirer of nature in her rustic garb, may satiate his eye inviewing the numerous charming landscapes that surround its rural suburbs, and in the conspicuous heights of Quantock and Glastonbury Tor, the hills of Wilts terminated towards the north by Alfred's tower, and, if the day be clear, the view is extended in the south-east as far as the distant hills of Purbeck isle.

POST OFFICE AND MONEY ORDER OFFICE, Angel square. Postmaster, Richard Buckland. Letters delivered from London and the North at 8 a.m. and the West of England, &c. at 9 a.m. Letters for London and the North must either be posted before 5 50 p.m. or with an extra stamp affixed to each before 6 20 p.m. otherwise they will not be forwarded before the next day's mail. Letters for the West of England must either be posted before 3 30 p.m. or with an extra stamp affixed to each before 3 50 p.m.

Gentry, Clergy, &c.

Batten Mr. Wm. Barton hill house
Bennett Miss Mary, St. James
Chitty Mr. Thomas B. Bimport st
Buckland Mr. Jas. L. Church lane
Buckland Mr. Richard, Church lane
Burridge Mr. Wm. Barton hill
Cotton Rev. John W. (Wesleyan min.) Bell street
Edwards Mr. William, Bell street
Evans Rev. Thomas (Independent minister), Grosvenor house
Jones Rev. Thomas R. (Wesleyan min.) Coppice street
Patteson Rev. Wm. M.A. St. James'
Peace Rev. Peter, Tout hill
Rake Mr. Beaven, St. James
Stanton Rev. Thomas, M.A. (rector) Castle-hill House
Stokes Capt. Wm. Salisbury st
Storey, Wm. esq. High street
Thomas Edwin, esq. St. James
Thomas John Clark, esq. St James
Thomas Miss Ann, Bell street
Tucker Mrs. Eliza, Bimport street

Miscellany of Traders, &c.
Not arranged in the succeeding lists.

Blanchard Jas. chair maker, Bell st
Boucher Thomas, wire worker, Salisbury street
Buckland Richard, teacher of music, Salisbury street
Campbell Elizabeth & Son, china & glass dealers, High street
Corben Mrs. Sarah, St. James
Davey John, (late supervisor) High street
Denbeigh Richard, ginger bread baker, Bell street
Dowland Chas. hatter, High street
Dyke Edward, agent to Ford & Co: carriers, Parsons Pool
Ford Saml. corn dealer, High st
Hallett James, fishmonger, Parsons Pool
Hardy Wm. plasterer, Bell street
Hussey Robert, registrar of births & deaths, St. James
Jackson Mary, teacher of languages, Bimport street
Kitto Jas. supervisor, Bell street
Langdon John S. inland revenue officer, High street
Maidment Matthew, bailiff to the County Court, High street
Perkins George, umbrella maker, Bell street
Perry Chas. clothier, High street
Phillips George, banker's clerk, High street
Raymond John and Son, surveyors, Parson's pool
Sheppard Jas. cooper, High street
Shirley Thomas, pawnbroker, Coppice street
Vincent David, chimney sweeper, Bell street

Auctioneers & Appraisers.

Guy Chas. (& broker) High street
New Alfred Hiscock, High street


Barnes William, Bell street
Fricker Thomas, Muston's lane
Grimes John, High street
Higgins Thomas, Bimport street
Smith James, Salisbury street
Thick David, Bell street


National Provincial Bank of England, High street, draw upon London Joint Stock; manager, Macklin Jas. William
Storey & Thomas, High st. draw upon Barnards & Co. London
Saving's Bank, High st. (open on sat.) actuary, Swyer Walter

Beer Retailers.

Fry Jeremiah, Gold hill
Jeanes George, Salisbury street
Jeanes Jaines, St. James


Bowren Charles (& edge tool maker) Park lane
Gatehouse John, Salisbury st
Snook Isaac, St. James

Booksellers, Stationers, and Printers.

Bastable Charles, High street
Highman William, High street
Hurd Ring, High street
Roberts Geo. M. & David, High street
Rutter Clarence (& circulating library & stamp office) High st

Boot and Shoemakers.

Belbin Charles, High street
Blake James, Salisbury street
Blandford Joseph, St. James'
Clewett Thomas, Salisbury street
Denbeigh Charles, Bell street
Dyke William, High street
Fox James, High street
Freke John, Bell street
Fry Stephen, High street
Lear Thomas, St. James
Lodge John, Bell street
Parsons Henry, High street


Downs Richard, High street
Miles Thomas Bullen, High street
Oborne Wm. High street


Dowland Peggy (pork only), Bell street
Imber George, Bell street
Tanswell Elizabeth, High street
Tanswell Mary, High street

Cabinet Makers.

Downs Richard, (& upholsterer) High street
Fricker Edward, Bell street
Highman George, High street
Mansfield Thomas, Salisbury street
Miles Thomas Bullen, High street
Oborne John, High street
Taylor Edwin, Bleke street


Bastable John, Salisbury street
Coombes Isaac, Bell street
Elkins James, St. James
King John, Bell street
Targett Isaac, Gold hill
White Wm. St. James

Cheese Dealers.

Fricker William, Bell street
Fricker William H. Bimport st

Chemists & Druggists.

Powell John, the Commons
Roberts George M. & David, High street
Rutter Clarence, High street

Coach Builders.

Hall Robert, Angel square
Hayter Thomas, Bleke street


Aish George, St. James
Brickell Robt. B. St. James
Case Samuel, St. James
Shute Stephen, St. James
Watts Isaac, Bleke street


Watts John, Bleke street
Young John, St. James's

Fire & Life Assurance agents
Thus * denotes Fire, thus § Life.

*§Alliance & §Medical & Clerical, Macklin J. W. High street
*§Church of England, Wyatt Robert, High street
§City of London & *§ Legal & Commercial, Chitty Philip Matthews, Angel lane
§Eagle, Swyer Robert, Angel lane
§Etonian, Highman Wm. High st.
*§Globe, Storey Wm. High street
Hail Storm, Hussey Robert, High street
*§Legal & Commercial, Highman John Chas. High street
*§Norwich Union & §Temperance & General Provident, Norton Geo. Edmund, High street
*Phœnix, Keynes R. & J. High st
§Professional, Powell John, Commons
Property Protection Society, Rutter & Son, High street; and Wyatt Robert, High street
*§Royal Farmer's, (& hail), Raymond John & Son, Parson's pool
*§Sun, Wills & Burridge, Parsons pool
*§West of England, Hannen Wm. High street; and Chitty Philip M. Angel lane; also Rutter & Son, High street


Watts John, Bleke street
Young John, St. James

Grocers & Tea Dealers.

Keynes Richard & James, (and agents to London Manure Company), High street
Powell John, the Commons
Roberts Chas. & Son, (and tallow chandlers), High street
Roberts Geo. Matthew & David, (& ginger beer & lemonade makers), High street

Grocery, &c. Dealers.

Andrew John, Hihg street
Bartlett Wm. D. High street
Blandford Margaret, Bell street
Burridge Robert, Bimport street
Dean Robert, St. James
Foyle Elizabeth, Salisbury street
Horder Peter (& coal dealer), Angel lane
New Philip, Salisbury street
Norton George E. (tea dealer only) High street
Oborne George, Salisbury street
Smith James, Salisbury street
Stone Sarah, St. James
Weldon Grace Ann, St. James
White Jas. Bell street

Haberdasher & Toy Dealer.

Norton George, (& hair sieve manufacturer & hardwareman), High street

Hair Dressers.

Bioletti James, High street
Morgan Charles, Gold hill
Tapper Thomas, High street

Inns and Public Houses.

Abbey Arms, (commercial), High street, New Alfred Hiscock
Crooked Billet, Salisbury street, Mansfield Thos.
Cross Keys, High street, Hayter Eli (& lime burner)
Crown & Punchbowl, High street, Andrew John
Flying Horse, High street, Freke John
Fox & Hounds, St. James, Watts John
Greyhound, Church lane, Harvey Thomas
Griffin's Head, Bell street, New Joseph
Grosvenor Arms, High st. (comm. and posting), Burdon Richard
Half Moon, Bleke street, Hayter Thomas
Hand-in-Hand, St. James, Hanham Thos.
King's Arms, Bleke street, Godwin Edmund
Mitre, High street, Tanswell Mary
Ox Inn, Bimport street, Ingram William
Red Lion, Church lane, Lodge Thomas
Rose & Crown, High st. Blandford Charlotte
Ship, High street, Highman Wm, & John Charles (& corn dealers)
Star, High street, Foot Fanny
Sun & Moon, Gold hill, Morgan Charles
Two Brewers, St. James, Rose Andrew

Ironmongers, Braziers, &c.

Ackland & Mullett (& bar iron merchants & oil & colour men), High street
Imber Jas. High street
Thorn Edwin, High street

Linen & Woollen Drapers.

Abbott Thomas, High street
Cotton Henry, High street
Harvey Samuel, High street
Perkins Joshua, High street

Linsey & Worsted Manufacturers.

Appleby James R. C. St. James
Troubridge Daniel, St. James

Milliners & Dress Makers.

Alford Caroline & Eliza, High st
Brine Elizabeth & Caroline, the Commons
Corben Eliza, St. James
Fricker Jane, Salisbury street
Hughes Sarah, Bell street
Norton Caroline, Salisbury street
Sellick Priscilla & Sophia, Gold hill
Taylor Charlotte, Bleke street
West Ann, High street
West Fanny & Hannah, High st.

Painters, Plumbers & Glaziers

Davis Joseph, High street
Harding George, High street
New Philip, Salisbury street
Oram George, Bell street
Oborne George, Salisbury street


Hunt James, High street
King Samuel, High street
Roberts Maria, High street

Post House Proprietors.

Burdon Richard, High street
Thick David, Bell street

Saddle & Harness Makers.

Dowland & Son, High street
Harding Chas. High street


Blue Coat, Bell street, Roberts Robert
Dunman Marianne, Tout hill
British, Muston's lane, Conibeere Mary Ann
Infants, Bimport st. Pearman Ann
National, Bimport street, White Wm. & Bowren Rose
National, St. James, Stevens Amelia


Buckland Charles Edwd. (& clerk to the county magistrates, town clerk, clerk to the commissioners of assessed taxes & property & income tax), Bleke street
Chitty Philip Matthews, Angel lane
Hannen William, (& clerk to the county court & coroner), High st
Rutter & Son, (& masters extra & commissioners for taking declarations), High street
Swyer Robert, Angel lane
Wills & Burridge, Parson's pool

Stone Masons.

Burridge Robert, Bimport street
Gatehouse Nicholas, Bimport st

Straw Hat Makers.

Dowland Mary Ann, Bimport st
Harding Maria, High street
Short Ann, Bell street


Bennett & Barrett, Bell street
Brine John Edmund, Abbey house
Woodcock Mark, Salisbury street


Abbott Thos. (& draper), High st
Bastable William, High street
Dunham Thomas, Salisbury street
Dunham William, Bleke street
London John, Bell street
Mullett Jno. (& draper), High st
Sherry Thomas, Salisbury street
Townshend Jas. Bell street
White Jas. (& draper) High street

Tinmen & Braziers.

Hopkins John, High street
Stickland Jas. High street

Watch & Clock Makers.

Belloni Frederick, High street
Leah Frederick H. Salisbury street
Mansfield Joseph, High street


Hayter Thomas, Bleke street
Spearpoint Thomas, Bimport street

Wine & Spirit Merchants.

Roberts David, High street
Watts William, the Commons


BATH, Wellington, from the Grosvenor Arms, tues. thurs. & sat. at half-past 10 morn.
SALISBURY, Telegraph, from the Grosvenor Arms, daily (except Sunday) at half-past 10 morn.
WIMBORNE, Wellington, from the Grosvenor Arms, mon. wed. & fri. at 2 aft.
YEOVIL, Telegraph, from the Grosvenor Arms daily, (except Sunday) at 6 aft. through Sherborne and Wincanton


BERWICK ST. JOHN, Philpot, from the Abbey Arms, sat.
BLANDFORD, Post Cart, from the Half Moon daily 10 morn.
BRISTOL, Coward, from the Abbey Arms, wed.; also Ings, from the Abbey Arms, same day
FARNHAM, Morgan, from the Flying Horse, sat. 4 aft.
GILLINGHAM, Butler, from the Abbey Arms, tues. & sat. also Post cart, from the Half Moon daily, 4 aft.
LONDON, Smith & Dawes, from the Star, tues. thurs. & sat. at 10 night; also Ford & Co. and to all parts of Dorset and the West of England
POOLE, Coward, from the Abbey Arms, mon. also Ings, from the Abbey Arms, same day
SALISBURY, Butler, from the Abbey Arms, mon. 11 morn.; also Post cart, from the Half Moon daily, 6 aft.
SHEPTON MALLET, Post cart, from the Half Moon daily, 4 aft.
TOLLARD ROYAL, Bennett, from the Abbey Arms, sat. also Morgan, from the Flying Horse, sat. 4 aft.
WINCANTON, Butler, from the Abbey Arms, tues. and sat.; also Post cart, from the Half Moon daily, 4 aft.