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East Orchard, Dorset

Historical Description

Orchard, East, a parish in Dorsetshire, on an affluent of the river Stour, 4 miles from Sturminster station on the Somerset and Dorset Joint railway, and 4½ SSW of Shaftesbury. Post town, Shaftesbury. Acreage, 839; population of the civil parish, 166; of the ecclesiastical, 226. The living is a vicarage, united with Margaret Marsh, in the diocese of Salisbury; gross value, £230 with residence. Patron, the Vicar of Iwerne Minster. The church was rebuilt in 1860, and is in the Early English style. There is a 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 -
HundredSixpenny Handley 
Poor Law unionShaftesbury1836 -
Registration districtShaftesbury 
Registration sub-districtFontmell 

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

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1783. 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. Thomas (parish church)

The parish church of St. Thomas is a modern building of stone, in the Early English style, and comprises chancel, nave, south porch, and a western turret, containing one bell: the church will seat 150 people.

Civil Registration

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

East Orchard was in Shaftesbury Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Sturminster Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for East Orchard from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of East Orchard 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 districtSP7
Post TownShaftesbury