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Chilcombe, Dorset

Historical Description

Chilcombe, a parish in Dorsetshire, near the coast, 4½ miles ESE of Bridport town and station on the G.W.R. Post town, Bridport. Acreage, 451; popuation, 24. Chilcombe Hill rises steeply, commands an extensive view, and is crowned by a Saxon camp 1333 feet long and 672 feet wide, with two or three small barrows in the middle, and a single low rampart and shallow ditch around. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; value, about £100. There was anciently a preceptory of Knights Hospitallers. The valuable altar-piece in the church, which is in all probability unique is a massive slab of dark wood about 7 feet. long by 2 broad, on which are depicted the various scenes. of the life of Christ from the annunciation to the crucifixion. It contains many hundreds of distinct figures. Tradition says that it was thrown up on the beach 3 miles to the south,, where several of the Armada vessels were lost. Its work is either Spanish or Italian.

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 -
Poor Law unionBridport1836 -
Registration districtBridport 
Registration sub-districtBurton Bradstock 

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

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1748. 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

not dedicated (parish church)

The church (not dedicated) is a very small building of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and western bell cot containing one bell: there are two stained windows, including one erected in 1895 by Frederick Samways esq. to his father, George Samways, who died Dec. 9, 1870: the font is Early Norman, and is carved with double cable moulding and foliage and with tongue-shaped ornament round the bottom of the bowl: the panelled reredos is of cedar in an oak frame: there is a trefoil-headed piscina, various mural tablets to the Bishop family, dated 1616 and 1692, and a floor stone with an inscription to E. Wadham, 1692: the church affords 34 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Chilcombe was in Bridport Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Chilcombe from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Chilcombe 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.

DistrictWest Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtDT6
Post TownBridport