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Gussage St Michael, Dorset

Historical Description

Gussage St Michael, a parish in Dorsetshire, 5 miles W by S of Cranborne, and 6½ from Verwood station on the L. & S.W.R. Post town, Salisbury; money order and telegraph office, Wimbome St Giles. Acreage, 2461; population of the civil parish, 229; of the ecclesiastical, 298. There are extensive ancient earthworks. The Roman road. Via Iceniana, divides this parish from Gussage All Saints. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £280 with residence. Patron, Viscount Portman. The church is Transition Norman, and has a Saxon tower, arch, and embattled tower. There is a Wesleyan chapel. In 1888, General Pitt Rivers discovered a Romano-British settlement at East Woodyates, which is believed by archaeologists to be the site of the Roman station of Vindogladia. On Oakley Down, in the parish of Handley, is Worbarrow, a long barrow of the stone age, opened by General Pitt Rivers in 1894.

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 -
Ecclesiastical parishGussage St. Michael 
Poor Law unionCranborne1835 - 1836
Poor Law unionWimborne and Cranborne1836 -
Registration districtWimborne 
Registration sub-districtCranborne 

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

Church Records

The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1654. 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. Michael (parish church)

The parish church of St. Michael is a very ancient building of stone and flint, in the Transition Norman style, consisting of chancel, with north chapel, nave, aisles, north porch and an embattled tower at the west end, containing 5 bells, the tenor bell was recast in 1896; the windows are filled with stained glass; a memorial reredos was erected in 1870 to the late Rev. G. Dewdney, a former rector: the chancel was rebuilt under the superintendence of the late G. E. Street esq. R.A., and the church was restored in 1895 at a cost of about £1,000, under the direction of Mr. C. M. P. Ponting, architect, when a new vestry and an oak screen and pulpit were provided; there are 150 sittings: in the churchyard is a remarkably fine yew tree.

Civil Registration

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

Gussage St. Michael was in Wimborne Registration District from 1837 to 1937, Blandford Registration District from 1937 to 1956, and Poole Registration District from 1956 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Gussage St Michael from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Gussage St Michael 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.

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

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

DistrictEast Dorset
RegionSouth West
Postal districtBH21
Post TownWimborne