Netherbury, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village lies on the river Brit, 1½ mile SSW of Beaminster, and 5 miles from Bridport station on the G.W.R. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office. The civil parish contains also the tithings of Ashe, Bowood, and Melplash, and part of the hamlet of Loscombe. Acreage, 6274; population, 1454. It is divided into two ecclesiastical districts - Netherbury-cum-Solway (population, 1071) and Melplash (412). There is a parish council consisting of eleven members. Upper and Greater Stroude, Hatchlands, and Slape are the chief residences. The old manor house, called Melplash Court, formerly the seat of the More family, is now a farmhouse. The land is very fertile, and is watered by numerous streamlets traversing wooded ravines. A considerable area is occupied by cider orchards. There is a flax and tow manufactory. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Ashe, in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £175 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. The church is Early Perpendicular, in good condition, with a tower and chancel. It has been restored, and contains a monument to one of the More family. The great tithes used to form the endowments of the three prebendaries connected with the parish-the prebendary of "Netherbury-in-Terra," "Nether-bury-in-Ecclesia," and " Slape "-but are now in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The unendowed prebends as canons still occupy their stalls in the Cathedral Church. The vicarage of Melplash is a separate benefice. There are four dissenting chapels-one in Netherbnry, one in Weytown, and two in Solway Ashe.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Netherbury St. Mary|
|Hundred||Beaminster Forum and Redborne|
|Poor Law union||Beaminster (1836-)|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1580. 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).
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
The parish church of St. Mary is a building of stone, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch, vestry and an embattled western tower, containing a clock and 6 bells: in the south aisle is a mutilated recumbent alabaster effigy, under a canopy, to one of the More family, and there are three stained windows and a Norman font: an organ chanber was built in 1894, at a cost of £200, and the organ was renovated and enlarged in 1906 at a cost of £200: the church affords 400 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Netherbury was in Beaminster Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Bridport Registration District from 1937 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Netherbury from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Netherbury (St. Mary))
- 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 Netherbury 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.