Charminster, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands on a branch of the river Froom, adjacent to the G.W.R., 2 miles NNW of Dorchester station. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Dorchester. Acreage, 4395; population of the civil parish, 1450; of the ecclesiastical, 1775. The parish contains also the hamlets of Burton and Forston, and the county lunatic asylum. There is a Working Men's Club and Institute. The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of Stratton, in the diocese of Salisbury ; value, £300, in the gift of the Bishop of Salisbury. The church is very good. There are Wesleyan and Free Reformed Methodist chapels. Dolfeton House is the chief residence.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Charminster St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Dorchester (1836-)|
|Registration sub-district||Maiden Newton|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1561. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by Ancestry.co.uk and made available on their site (subscription required).
The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Charminster, 1561-1812 is online.
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
The parish church of St. Mary, built in the latter part of the 12th century, is a stone edifice, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, divided from the nave by massive Norman arches, south porch, and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and 5 bells: the tower was built by Sir Thomas Trenchard, of Wolfeton, about 1500: there are monuments with elaborate carvings, probably to members of the Trenchard family: the church was restored in 1896, when four small Norman windows were discovered in the clerestory, and the west window filled with stained glass, by Captain and Mrs Dymond, as a memorial to their son: the church affords 500 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Charminster was in Dorchester Registration District from 1837 to 1949 and Weymouth Registration District from 1949 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Charminster from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848
- Kelly's Directory of Dorset, 1889
- Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse.
Online maps of Charminster are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the Dorset County Chronicle and the Sherborne Mercury online.
Villages, Hamlets, &c
The Visitation of Dorset, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.