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Kingston, Dorset

Historical Description

Kingston, an ecclesiastical parish in Dorsetshire. It was formerly a chapelry, but was separated from the mother parish of Corfe Castle in 1877. In ancient documents it was called Kingston Abbess, the manor having belonged to the Abbess of Shaftesbury. The village stands 1½ mile from Corfe Castle station on the L. & S.W.R. It is pleasantly situated on an eminence, and has a post office under Wareham; money order and telegraph office, Corfe Castle. Population of ecclesiastical parish, 405. By the Parish Councils Act, Kingston is joined with Corfe Castle. Encombe, the seat of the Earl of Eldon, is a splendid mansion of Purbeck stone, standing in large and tastefully laid-out grounds, and commanding a noble view of the English Channel. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; gross value, £350 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Eldon. The church is a very handsome structure of stone in the Early English style, and was erected during the years 1874 to 1880, at the sole cost of the Earl of Eldon. The interior is richly decorated. There is a small Wesleyan chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyDorsetshire 
DioceseBristol1542 - 1836
DioceseSalisbury1836 -

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1877. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by and made available on their site (subscription required).


Church of England

St. James (parish church)

The church of St. James, erected during the period 1874 to 1880, at the sole cost of the Earl of Eldon, is a cruciform building of stone, in the Early English style, from designs by the late George E. Street esq. R.A., consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, aisles, transepts, west porch and a lofty central tower containing 8 bells: the chancel has a stone-groined roof, treble sedilia and a piscina of Purbeck marble: the screen, also of Purbeck marble, is surmounted by elaborate open wrought iron work: the pulpit is of elaborately wrought iron work mounted upon a pedestal of Purbeck stone: all the windows, including a large rose window at the weat end, are stained: there are two rolls of honour in the church erected in memory of those parishioners who served and those who fell in the Great War, 1914-18: there are 300 sittings.

The old church of St. James, still standing and in good preservation, is a cruciform edifice of stone, in the Perpendicular atyle, and has an embattled northwestern tower with pinnacles, containing one bell, and there are two stained windows; it is now used as a village hall.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse.


Online maps of Kingston are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the Dorset County Chronicle and the Sherborne Mercury online.

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Dorset, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

RegionSouth West
Postal districtBH20
Post TownWareham