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Holnest, Dorset

Historical Description

Holnest, a parish in Dorsetshire, 5 miles from Sherborne station on the L. & S.W.R. Post town, Sherborne. Acreage, 2270; population of the civil parish, 127; of the ecclesiastical district, 448. Holnest Park is the chief residence. The parish is a meet for the Blackmore Vale hounds. The living is a chapelry annexed to the vicarage of Long Burton, in the diocese of Salisbury. The church consists of chancel, nave, S aisle, S porch, and W tower.

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 parishHolnest St. Mary 
Poor Law unionSherborne1835 -
Registration districtSherborne 
Registration sub-districtYetminster 

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

Church Records

We have transcribed the Baptisms 1589-1812, Marriages 1589-1812, and Burials 1589-1812.

The parish register of baptisms, marriages and burials begins in 1589. 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. Mary (parish church)

The parish church of St. Mary is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch and a western tower containing 3 bells: there are 74 sittings: in the churchyard is a mausoleum, erected by the late J. S. W. Sawbridge-Erle-Drax esq.

St. Mary, Holnest

Civil Registration

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

Holnest was in Sherborne Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Sturminster Registration District from 1937 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Holnest from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Holnest 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 districtDT9
Post TownSherborne