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Bourton, Dorset

Historical Description

Bourton, a parish in Dorsetshire, on the verge of the county, 3 miles SW of Mere, 4 NNW of Gillingham station on the L. & S.W.R., and 4 from Wincanton. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Bath. Acreage, 922; population of the civil parish, 782; of the ecclesiastical, 761. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £277 with residence. The church is good; it was rebuilt in 1878-79. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels; also a large iron foundry, engine and boiler works, and two brickyards.

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 
Civil parishGillingham 
DioceseBristol1542 - 1836
DioceseSalisbury1836 -
Poor Law unionShaftesbury1894 -
Registration districtShaftesbury 
Registration sub-districtGillingham 

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

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1812. 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. George (parish church)

The parish church of St. George, rebuilt in 1878-9, is in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, south porch and an incomplete tower containing 6 bells: there are sittings for 314 persons.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Bourton was in Mere Registration District from 1837 to 1896, Shaftesbury Registration District from 1896 to 1937, and Sturminster Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bourton from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Bourton 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.

DistrictNorth Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtSP8
Post TownGillingham