Blandford St Mary

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BLANDFORD (ST. MARY), a parish, in the union of BLANDFORD, hundred of COOMBS-DITCH, Blandford division of DORSET, ¾ of a mile (S.) from Blandford-Forum; containing 407 inhabitants. This parish, situated near the river Stour, and on the road to Dorchester, comprises 1557 acres of arable and pasture land in nearly equal portions; the soil is generally chalk. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 17. 8½., and in the patronage of Miss Burrough: the tithes have been commuted for £300, and there are 40 acres of glebe. The church, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1711, by Governor Pitt, ancestor of the Earl of Chatham and of Lord Camelford, it is in the Grecian style, and contains the remains of many of the Pitt family. Browne Willis, the antiquary, was born here, Sept. 14th, 1682. In 1833, six skeletons were discovered about a quarter of a mile from Blandford Bridge; a single skeleton was also found a short distance from the others, and a variety of Roman coins, a Greek coin, a bronze figure of Our Saviour, and a glass vessel two inches in length, evidently formed in a mould, and impressed with two grotesque heads.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, 1848. Transcribed by Nigel Batty-Smith ©2014

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