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Iwerne Minster, Dorset

Historical Description

Iwerne Minster, a village and a parish in Dorsetshire. The village stands near the head of the rivulet Iwerne, 3½ miles NE of Shillingstone station on the Somerset and Dorset railway, and 5½ NW by N of Blandford Forum. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Blandford. Acreage, 2865; population, 661. Iwerne Minster House is a handsome mansion standing in a park of 300 acres; it was built in 1880, and is the seat of Lord Wolverton, who is lord of the manor. Iwerne Down lies on the N. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; net value, £280 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The church is partly Norman, and has nave, aisles, and chancel, with a spire 132 feet high. The building was restored in 1871, and a chapel was added in 1887. It was under the patronage of the Abbey of Shaftesbury, which made over the rectoral tithes to Edward IV., who gave them to his new chapel of St George at Windsor. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels. The village has been much improved by Lord Wolverton.

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 parishIwerne-Minster Virgin Mary 
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 1742, the previous records having been destroyed in the Blandford great fire. 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 handsome cruciform building of stone in the Norman, Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with south chapel, nave of three bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower, with spire, containing 6 bells with chimes: the east window is a memorial to W L. Russell, d. 1866, and T. B. Bower, d. 1868: and there are others to Beatrice Ernestine Channell, d. 1871, and the present vicar's grandfather, who died 1875: the pulpit is of carved oak: the font is Late Perpendicular: a new organ and carved gallery, given by the Misses Ismay in memory of their mother, the late Lady Margaret Ismay, were added in 1913: the church was restored in 1871 and has sittings for 240 persons; the churchyard was enlarged by a piece of land given by the third Lord Wolverton, a portion of which is reserved for the family burying-ground, and has since been added to by J. H. Ismay esq. M.A., J.P.: in the centre of this a magnificent cross of stone, on a base of the same material, reaching a height of 18 feet, the cross itself being a monolith of 11 feet 9 inches: there is a list of vicars from 1320 to the present date.

Civil Registration

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

Iwerne Minster 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 Iwerne Minster from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Iwerne Minster 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 districtDT11
Post TownBlandford Forum