Milton Abbas, Dorset
Milton Abbas, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands along a steep road, between two wooded hills, adjacent to an affluent of the river Puddle, 6 miles SW by W of Blandford station on the Somerset and Dorset railway. It was originally called Middleton, and took the latter part of its name from a neighbouring Benedictine abbey. It was once a market-town; underwent reconstruction by the first Earl of Dorchester; consists of two rows of symmetrical cottages, with church, almshouse, and good inn; presents a tidy and pretty appearance; and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Blandford. Acreage of the civil parish, 4880; population, 728; of the ecclesiastical, 787. A Benedictine abbey was founded here after 938 by King Athelstan; went at the dissolution to Sir John Tregonwell; and, with the exception of the hall and the church, was taken down in 1771 to give place to Milton Abbey, the present seat of the Hambro family. This seat was designed by Sir William Chambers; is a large quadrangular mansion with a central court; consists of white limestone, alternating in parts with layers of flint; presents principal fronts to the N and the W; includes the Abbot's hall, of date 1498; and stands on a natural terrace, at the convergence of three deep vales, under an amphitheatre of wooded heights. The abbey church is of the time of Edward II.; succeeded a previous church, destroyed by lightning; consists of transept, aisled" chancel, and tower; contains a rich altar-screen of 1492, finely carved stalls, three canopied sedilia, a unique specimen of an old English " spire " or sacrament house, two rude old paintings supposed to represent Athelstan and his mother, an " Easter Sepulchre" tomb to Sir John Tregonwell, a monument of 1775 by Carlini to Lord and Lady Milton, a Jesse window of 1849 by Pugin, and a marble font by Prof. Jerichan, pupil of Thorwaldsen. It underwent restoration in 1863, under the superintendence of Scott of London, at a cost of about £4500. An old chapel, dedicated to St Catherine, stands on a hill E of the abbey. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £150 with residence. The village church was rebuilt by the first Earl of Dorchester, has a pinnacled tower, and was thoroughly restored and enlarged in 1889. There are a Wesleyan chapel, almshouses, a reading-room with library, and a cottage hospital endowed by the late Baron Hambro.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Milton-Abbas St. Mary and St. Sampson|
|Poor Law union||Blandford (1835-)|
|Registration sub-district||Milton Abbas|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The Phillimore transcript of Marriages at Milton Abbey, 1559-1812 is online.
Milton Abbas was in Blandford Registration District from 1837 to 1956 and Poole Registration District from 1956 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Milton Abbas 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 Milton Abbas 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.