Fontmell, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands 4 miles S of Shaftesbury, and 5 N by E of Shillingstone station on the Somerset and Dorset railway. It has a post and money order office of the name of Fontmell Magna, under Shaftesbury; telegraph office, Iwerne Minster. The parish includes also the tithings of Bedchester and Hartgrove, and bears the name of Fontmell Magna. Acreage, 2896; population of the civil parish, 637; of the ecclesiastical, 752. The living is a rectory and a vicarage, united with the perpetual curacy of West Orchard, in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £420 with residence. The church was built in 1864 on the site of a previous edifice, in the Later English style, and is richly ornamented. There is a Wesleyan chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Poor Law union||Shaftesbury||1836 -|
|Registration district||Shaftesbury||1837 - 1937|
|Registration district||Sturminster||1937 - 1974|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1653. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by Ancestry.co.uk and made available on their site (subscription required).
Church of England
St. Andrew (parish church)
The parish church of St. Andrew, standing on an eminence, is an edifice of stone, principally in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisle, south porch, and an ancient and lofty embattled western tower of Norman date, with pinnacles, and containing a clock with chimes and 6 bells: the stained east window was given by the first Lord Wolverton, in 1862, in memory of Sir Richard Plumptre Glyn (who rebuilt the church); the west window is a memorial to George Carr Glyn, 1st baron Wolverton. d. 24 July. 1873; and there are other windows to Maj. Richard Riversdale Glyn, who died and was buried at Aden, in 1859. and Riversdale Robert Glyn, buried at Hastings, in 1829, both sons of the first Lord Wolverton: the church was restored in 1862: there are 250 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Fontmell Magna was in Shaftesbury Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Sturminster Registration District from 1937 to 1974
For births, marriages, and deaths in Fontmell from 1837 to 1937 you should search for the Shaftesbury Registration District.
For births, marriages, and deaths in Fontmell from 1937 to 1974 you should search for the Sturminster Registration District.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Fontmell from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Fontmell Magna (St. Andrew))
- Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Dorset is available to browse.
Online maps of Fontmell are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the Dorset County Chronicle and the Sherborne Mercury online.
Villages, Hamlets, &cHartgrove
The Visitation of Dorset, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.