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Melbury Abbas, Dorset

Historical Description

Melbury Abbas, a parish in Dorsetshire, adjacent to Wiltshire, 2½ miles SSE of Shaftesbury, and 5 S by E of Semley station on the L. & S.W.R. It has a post office under Shaftesbury; money order and telegraph office, Shaftesbury. Acreage, 2374; population, 288. The manor belongs to the Glyn family. Melbury Hill and Melbury Down are prominent features. Limestone is worked. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £280 with residence. The church was rebuilt in 1851, and has a turreted tower. Bishop Blandford was a native.

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 register dates from the year 1716. 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, rebuilt in 1851 by the late Sir R. P. Glyn bart and opened on St. Thomas day, 1852, is a stone edifice in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave of three bays, south aisle, south porch and a western tower containing 5 bells: there are 300 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Melbury Abbas 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 Melbury Abbas from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Melbury Abbas 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