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CRANBORNE (ST. BARTHOLOMEW), a market-town and parish, in the unlon of WIMBORNE and CRANBORNE, chiefly in the hundred of CRANBORNE, but partly in that of MONCKTON-UP-WIMBORNE, Wimborne division of DORSET, 30 miles (N. E. by E.) from Dorchester, and 92 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 2551 inhabitants, and comprising the tythings of Alderholt, Blagdon, Boveridge, Holwell, Monckton-up-Wimborne with Oakley, and Verwood. This place, which is of great antiquity, derives its name from the Saxon Gren, a crane, and Burn, a river, either from the tortuous windings of a stream, which, rising in the parish, falls into the Stour, or from the number of cranes that frequented its banks. In 980, Ailward de Meaw founded here a Benedictine monastery, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, but in 1102, the abbot retired with his brethren to Tewkesbury, where Robert Fitz-Hamon had founded a magnificent abbey, to which the original establishment became a cell. The old manor-house, being embattled, was called the Castle, and was the occasional residence of the king, when he came to hunt in Cranborne Chace, an extensive tract reaching almost to Salisbury: the chace courts were regularly held in it, and it contained a room, called the dungeon, for the confinement of offenders against the chace laws. More ...

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

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