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"STALBRIDGE is a small market-town, in the division of Sturminster and hundred of Brownshall; 111 miles from London, 20 from Dorchester, seven from Sherborne, and four from Sturminster. It is situated on a branch of the river Stour and the Dorsetshire and Somersetshire canal, and consists of two streets; the principal one running north and south, and the other branching from its south end: at the point of intersection is an ancient stone cross, 30 feet in height, which is well worthy of notice. This place was formerly noted for the manufacture of stockings, which is now fallen to decay, the only manufactory at this time is for silk. The government of the town is vested in the magistrates of the division of Sturminster. The places of worship are, the parish church, a large ancient structure; and a meeting-house for dissenters. The living of Stalbridge is a rectory, in the gift of Christ's college, Cambridge, the present incumbent is the Rev. Edward Bradford. The market is held every alternate Tuesday, for stock, which is most numerously attended ; the fairs are, 6th May, and 4th September, chiefly for cattle of all kinds. Stalbridge parish, including the tythings of Gomershay, Thornhill and Weston, contained, by the last returns, 1,571 inhabitants."

Source: Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Dorset, 1830. Transcribed by Nigel Batty-Smith ©2003

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